The 104-year-old Italian motorbike brand Benelli, which has entered India through a tie-up with Pune-based DSK Group as DSK Benelli for the assembly and sale of its super bikes, hopes to have a joint venture to manufacture its high-end motorbikes if the company's bikes catch the fancy of the Indian buyer. The decision to manufacture bikes in India would depend on which of its bikes would sell well in the country.
“We would prefer to set up a manufacturing plant here through a partner. But it will depend on how fast the market develops for us and which of the models will sell well in India,” George Wang, Board Director, Benelli, told Business Standard.
Wang added they will come in through a professional partner for development.
Currently, the company imports its bikes from China and Italy for sale in India. As of now, its high-end bikes come from Italy. “We source the bike parts from across Europe and China,” said Wang.
Of its range of bikes, Benelli has launched five in India with engine capacities ranging from 300 cc to 1,131 cc. The company expects its bikes in the 300-600 cc range to be the hot sellers as that is the biggest market.
“The high end of the market is small,” said Wang.
DSK Motowheels, a part of the Rs 5,000 crore DSK Group forayed into the automobile sector by entering the niche segment of powerful and aspirational bikes. It has set up a CKD plant in Maharashtra. Currently, DSK Motowheels assembles Hyosung bikes and uses a part of its plant to assemble Benelli bikes.
The company is in a tearing hurry in opening outlets across the country. By December this year, it plans to open 20 dealerships across the country. In first phase, it plans to open nine outlets and 11 in the second. "Our target is to open 20 outlets across the country," said Shirish Kulkarni, Chairman, DSK Motowheels.
As of now, only one of DSK's outlets in Pune is company owned. The rest are owned by franchisees. The investment that would go into each franchise is about Rs 3 crore and the outlets will have in all 3,000 sq feet with 1,500 sq ft dedicated to service, added Kulkarni.
On an average, the bikes will be in the price range of Rs 4.5-5 lakh. In the first year, DSK hopes to sell about 3,000 of the Benelli bikes and in the second year it hopes to sell about 5,000 of them.
As of now, the company believes in absolute numbers. The 300cc bikes would make up 60 per cent of the bikes sold. The 600cc bikes could make up 30 per cent of its sales and the rest of the sales would come from the top-end bikes, Kulkarni added.
SET TO RACE IN INDIA
- Benelli is now part of motor Group Qianjiang, a corporation in Wenling, southeast China
- Benelli has launched five in India with engine capacities ranging from 300 cc to 1,131 cc
- The company expects its bikes in the 300-600 cc range to be the hot sellers as that is the biggest market
- On an average, the bikes will be in the price range of Rs 4.5-5 lakh