Jolly good ride
THE WEEK|November 22, 2020
Indian bike manufacturers are making their presence felt in foreign markets
NACHIKET KELKAR

THE WORLD’S FAVOURITE

Indian.’ That is the tagline of Bajaj Auto. And why not? The Pune-based company exports motorcycles to 70 countries. Bajaj, however, is not the only favoured Indian among bike makers. TVS Motor and Hero MotoCorp, too, have over the past decade found plenty of customers overseas. Indian companies are among the leading players in many markets in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Bajaj’s motorcycle exports in October surged 29 per cent year-onyear to 2,01,659 units, its highest ever. In September, too, the company had reported record exports. TVS Motor’s two-wheeler exports grew 46 per cent last month to 80,741 units, from 55,477 units a year earlier. Hero MotoCorp’s exports in October rose 28 per cent to 15,711 units.

Chinese companies once dominated the African continent with their cheap motorcycles. The only other option in these markets used to be expensive Japanese bikes. Indian bikes hit the sweet spot in between, of quality and price. In the year ended in March 2020, exports accounted for 42 per cent of Bajaj’s sales (21,71,105 units, including 18,69,220 motorcycles) and Africa accounted for 53 per cent of it. In many markets, Bajaj is the first or the second player.

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