Mumbai: Bajaj Auto Ltd is all set to enter Thailand with its premium motorcycle brands, including KTM, Husqvarna, Dominar and Pulsar NS series, by July, a senior company executive told Mint on Thursday.
“Asean in an important geography for us wherein, apart from Philippines, we are not really present in the other countries. We are now focusing on Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mayanmar, Cambodia, Laos and others," Rakesh Sharma, executive director at Bajaj Auto said.
"We plan to enter that market (Thailand) by July combining our forces with KTM. We are delayed due to the pandemic as earlier the plan was to enter that market in April," Sharma said.
The company plans to foray into the sports category with premium brands such as Dominar and the Pulsar NS range leading the charge, he added.
Bajaj Auto has also appointed a new distributor for Thailand who will set up the local network and build the business for KTM as well as other brands.
“We have also identified some dealers and dealer appointment and setting up of the network is underway," the senior company executive told this publication.
The homegrown manufacturer of motorcycles and three-wheelers aims to consolidate its presence in the region, which is largely dominated by the Japanese automakers.
Bajaj Auto is already present in Indonesia via its local subsidiary PT. Bajaj Auto Indonesia, which overlooks operations of the local distributor appointed for retail and distribution of KTM bikes.
“We are front-ending KTM and Husqvarna brands in Indonesia and will venture with premium Bajaj brands in a year from now," Sharma said.
The senior executive said that the company has a strong presence in Philippines where it is present along with its partner Kawasaki. He added that Bajaj Auto entered Malaysia 18-20 months ago with the Pulsar series, which is doing well.
“On the three-wheeler business, we have created the market in Philippines, Cambodia and Mayanmar," Sharma said.
Aditya Jhawar, auto analyst at Investec Capital Services (India) Pvt Ltd said, due to stress in some of the African countries, which are key export markets for Bajaj Auto, and the risk of currency devaluation, the company is focusing on ramping up its presence in the other important regions.
“Asean countries are horizon-one markets for Bajaj Auto, which means they are being looked at with urgency," Jhawar said.
A 10% growth in motorcycle exports cushioned the impact of a fall in the company’s domestic sales in the last fiscal. On Wednesday, Bajaj Auto reported 8% yoy decline in its consolidated revenues for the March quarter at ₹6,816 crore. It’s consolidated net profit for the period dropped 4% yoy at ₹1,354 crore.
For FY2020, Bajaj Auto reported 6% growth in its consolidated net profit at ₹5,212 crore despite a decline of 1.44% in its revenue from operations, which stood at ₹29,919 crore.
The company exported 47% of motorcycles and 45% of three-wheelers produced in FY2020.