The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 26 , 2014
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Bajaj Auto hopeful of turnaround in sales

Eric Vas in Calcutta on Monday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, Aug. 25: Two- wheeler major Bajaj Auto hopes to improve domestic sales in the second half of this fiscal after posting a 15 per cent decline in the April-June quarter.

The company sold 615,894 motorcycles during the period. Explaining the drop in sales, Eric Vas, president of the motorcycle business, said the company was engaged in reorganising its manufacturing line in Aurangabad and Pantnagar so that the new Discover 150cc could be manufactured along with the existing Discover variants (100cc and 125cc).

“We have been focussing on rearranging our lines. This is a short-term correction because of which there was some shortage of capacity,” Vas today said on the sidelines of the launch of the Discover 150cc motorcycle here today. He said this had affected domestic sales even though exports registered growth.

However, Vas expressed hope that the shortage would be covered and the company would improve its performance in the second half of the year. “From September onwards, we hope to come to a zero-deficit situation compared with last year’s monthly numbers,” Vas said.

He said the company could add about 36,000 units a month if the premium commuter segment grew to 20 per cent from 17 per cent of the total motorcycle market.

The total motorcycle market is estimated at around 873,000 bikes per month.

Vas said the segment below 150cc had recently seen negative growth owing to a lack of innovation.

He said the company would position the Discover 150cc motorcycle as a premium commuter segment product.

“Currently, the market does not have a product in the 150cc segment positioned as commuter motorcycle. So, we aim to get most of this segment,” Vas added.