Kawasaki plans to introduce sub-200cc motorcycle, make India its export hub
Japanese motorcycle maker Kawasaki is looking to make India its export hub. The company reportedly is considering to introduce a sub-200cc motorcycle, increasing and localising production. It has been able to achieve localisation with the 2019 Ninja 300 ABS which was recently launched at a lowered price of Rs 2.98 lakh. Once it reaches its planned level of localisation, Kawasaki intends to begin exporting its motorcycles from here to the African and Latin American market. India Kawasaki Motors (IKM) has had an independent assembly plant in Chakan, Pune since September 2017, after it ended its India alliance with Bajaj Auto.
According to Kawasaki president of motorcycle and engine division, Kazuo Ota, the company is in the process of setting up infrastructure at the 10,000 sq m facility to locally assemble more models from its existing line-up. IKM currently imports units into India via the CBU or CKD route. To further bring down production costs, the company is now looking for component manufacturers for more localisation. This should translate into lower prices for its offerings in the country.
The goal, as per Ota, is for IKM to sell around 5,000 motorcycles a year in India by 2020. To facilitate this, Kawasaki will double its number of dealerships in the country from the present network of 30. The sub-200cc motorcycle it plans to introduce should help with the numbers. At last year's EICMA, Kawasaki had teased the Ninja 125 and Z 125, and these motorcycles could be the ones to come to India under this plan.
Competitive prices on these lower capacity offerings would make the brand more accessible to the buyer in India and open it up to an entirely new segment and market.
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