Bajaj Auto Ltd plans to share the platform of its debut Chetak brand of electric scooter with KTM and Husqvarna to develop new products in line with the ethos of the two brands.
“The best way to be a global company is to produce platforms, which are modular and flexible, and can be leveraged by different brands. Going forward, we can use this platform for both KTM and Husqvarna scooters. My counterpart Stefan Pierer (KTM CEO) has already spoken on this and the product development is underway," said Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto.
Bajaj Auto owns about a 48% stake in KTM, which in turn, owns the Husqvarna brand of motorcycles.
“You can imagine if this has to be a KTM scooter, it has to be ready to race and, if it has to be a Husqvarna model, then it has to live up to this cool image. So, we will have different brands to carve this EV space into small niches," Bajaj said on the sidelines of an event to showcase the Chetak at the company’s Akurdi factory on the outskirts of Pune.
The electric Chetak, which has been developed and designed in-house by Bajaj, marks the revival of the company’s scooter business after about a decade. However, taking a prudent approach, Bajaj plans to launch the scooter in January first in Pune, and then in Bengaluru.
“We will take one step at a time because this is a new product, it is new technology and entire network has to be made ready. We have to train people both on the selling side and also on the servicing side. All this takes time," said Eric Vas, president, urbanite business, Bajaj Auto.
Vas estimates the average market size of high-speed electric scooters at about 3,000 units per month.
The company said it can make up to 2,000 electric Chetak scooters, but will raise capacity based on demand. Bajaj Auto will roll out the new Chetak scooters from its Chakan plant. It also has plans to make electric three-wheelers and quadricycles.
“What I can tell you is that we have not invested in the setup, put so many people at work, designed a product, made riders ride electric scooters across the country because I want to sell 100 units a month. We don’t want to do that. If we have put so much effort, certainly this would translate into big numbers. We have said in the past that the pricing would be in the range ₹1-1.5 lakhs," said Bajaj declining to disclose the investments in the project.