Benelli plans to introduce smaller bike segment in India

Italian premium two-wheeler maker Benelli, which is set to resume sales in India in October, will look to enter smaller 135-200 cc bike segment after 2019 for wider market presence, according to a PTI report.

The company has roped in a new partner Mahavir Group for its fresh journey in India. The Mahavir Group is setting up an assembly unit in Hyderabad to serve the demand for Benelli bikes in India through a licensing agreement.

The two partners have formed a joint venture to set up a manufacturing plant in Telangana for which the Italian firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government.

Initially, the company will focus on 300-600 cc motorcycles through 12 models to be launched by the end of 2019.

We took a fast decision of not to be out of the market for a long time after the problem came up. The first thing to do was revise from among all the relationships we had built,” Benelli Chief Marketing Officer Dante Bustos told PTI.

Benelli had stopped selling bikes in India in May this year after parting ways with its Pune-based former partner DSK Motowheels, which ran into financial trouble.

By October this year, Benelli will launch three 300cc motorcycles which will be assembled at the Hyderabad facility.

The company is working on single cylinder strategy, for motorcycles with displacements of 135-200 cc, which is also a new technology. The new is slated to come to India, but not before 2019.

Benelli’s immediate focus will be to put its business back on track, ensuring the availability of spare parts and addressing customer concerns quickly.

The company has set a target of selling around 3,000 units a year and eventually have a market share of around 25-30 percent in the 300-500 cc segment in about three years.

It plans to have around 55-60 touch points spread across India in the next two years, up from 18 dealerships at present.

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