Italy’s Benelli to roll out 12 bikes in India by 2019

Firm to kick-start operations at Hyderabad facility from Oct.

Italian motorcycle manufacturer Benelli, which plans to reposition itself in the 300cc to 500cc superbike segment, will be rolling out at least 12 models in India by 2019, said a senior official.

“We are making a re-entry by introducing three bikes by this year end and nine by 2019,” said Dante Bustos, senior director, chief marketing officer, Benelli. “In the first phase, we will roll out TNT 300, TNT 302 and TNT 600i super bikes.”

The Italian firm, which parted ways with Pune-based dealer DSK Motowheels in July 2018, recently announced its tie-up with Hyderabad-based Adishwar Auto Ride India (AARI), a subsidiary of Mahavir Group, to assemble and market its motorcycles in India and is in the process of setting up an manufacturing plant in Telangana.

“The 200cc market has matured. People will look to upgrade seeking more power and better riding experience and that’s why we are focussing on 300cc to 500cc bikes, which will grow more. We will offer these bikes across Naked, Adventure, Sports, Modern Classic and Heritage categories from 250-600cc. Cruizer bikes will be unveiled during 2020,” he said.

According to Mr. Bustos, in the next two to three years, a lot more players would be competing in the 500CC category.

The market size for super bikes in India is tremendous. In the last three years, Benelli had sold nearly 5,300 bikes and plans to sell 3,000 units during 2019, he said.

Mr. Bustos said they would be revamping the existing dealerships with more facilities.

‘India-specific’

Vikas Jhabakh, director, Mahavir Group, said Benelli was looking at setting up an R&D centre in India and make India-specific bikes that have global demand. “Besides, we are setting up the manufacturing plant in two phases. The first phase will become operational by October 2018,” he said. Currently, Benelli has 18 touch points (dealerships) in the country and will add 20 more in the next 12 months.

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