Hyderabad: Benelli, global leader in the superbike segment, on Monday signed a MoU with the Telangana government to set up an indigenous manufacturing plant near Hyderabad.
The Italian motorcycle brand, owned by China-based QianJiang Group, also entered into a strategic partnership with Adishwar Auto Ride India-Mahavir Group, a leading automobile dealer, to market its products in India.
The partnerships were announced by the officials of Benelli, Telangana government and Adishwar Auto Ride India-Mahavir Group at an event here.
The manufacturing facility will be set up in two phases.
In the first phase, Adishwar Auto Ride India-Mahavir Group will set up an assembly unit, which will be operational by October 2018. The unit, to come up on 3 acres of land at Gondlapochampally on the outskirts of the city, will have a capacity of 10,000 bikes annually. AARI-Mahavir Group will make the investment in the assembly.
Under the second phase, Benelli will set up its manufacturing plant over 20 acres, bringing the investment, technology and R&D. The location for the facility will be identified later.
While assembly unit will cater to only Indian market, Benelli could look at exports to the neighbouring countries after setting up the manufacturing facility.
Vikas Jhabakh, MD, Benelli India, told reporters that they target to assemble about 3,000 units in the first year. “AARI-Mahavir Groups are Benelli’s partners for India but going forward we will have joint venture when second phase comes into effect.”
Benelli choose AARI-Mahavir Group as the new partners for India after ending the partnership with previous partners.
Currently there are about 5,500 Benelli bikes, brought into India on Completely Knocked Down (CKD) platform. The company is currently selling about 2,500 units every year.
With two-wheeler market growing at 6-8 percent and the superbike segment growing at 20 per cent every year, he was confident of reaching 10,000 units in 2-3 years.
Benelli plans to bring back three models to India in October this year. Overall, it aims to launch 4-6 models by the end of 2019.
AARI-Mahavir group will assemble the bikes and supply through dealers across the country. It plans to increase the number of dealers from present 18 to 60-65 by 2020.
The cost of Benelli bikes in India range from Rs 2 lakh (450cc) to Rs 6 lakh (600cc).
Established in 1911, Benelli has presence in over 60 countries. Its global product portfolio includes more than 200 variants including motorcycles, scooters and electric bicycles.
Telangana Minister for Industry K.T. Rama Rao said that with a big brand like Benelli, the automobile sector in Telangana will get a good fillip. He said the government was also keen to have ancillary industry so that a strong automobile ecosystem is built in the state.
“Currently, we have 21 per cent market share in the super bike segment in India and our aim is to surpass 30 per cent by 2021. We have also established robust after sales service in India to build a relationship of mutual trust and knowledge with our customers,” said George Wang, Director, Benelli.