Benelli India to double product portfolio in premium bikes

Chennai: Italian motorcycle maker Benelli has chalked out aggressive plans to strengthen its foothold in the premium bikes category to double its product portfolio by 2020, according to a top official.

The company would ramp up production at its assembly unit in Hyderabad and has set itself a target of selling around 12,000 units by that year.

Benelli India would also be strengthening its retail footprint across the country, Vikas Jhabakh, director of the Mahavir Group, which are distributors of the brand in the country, said.

Benelli India has appointed Adishwar Auto Ride India, a partner of the Mahavir Group, to manage the company’s operations in the country. Jhabakh said the company would double the current product portfolio by 2020, with prices ranging between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 6.2 lakh (ex-showroom).

Benelli currently retails six models, including the latest 500 cc Leoncino, priced at Rs 4.79 lakh (ex-showroom).

“By the end of 2020, we will have 12-13 bikes in the Benelli portfolio. We are planning to launch two 250 cc bikes and a 400 cc motorcycle,” he told PTI.

To augment the company’s expansion plans, Benelli would ramp up production at its facility in Hyderabad, he said.

“Investments (already) made in the three acre facility is Rs 40 crore. We will make investments as and when required to ramp up the capacity,” he said, responding to a question.

Jhabakh said Benelli planned to sell around 12,000 bikes by the end of 2020 and increase plant capacity to 20,000 units per annum from the current 3,000 units.

On expanding the retail network, he said the company planned to have around 60 dealers in 50 cities by the end of 2020. Benelli currently has 19 dealers in 18 cities.

To a query about the government’s push to promote electric vehicles, Jabhakh said, “Electric (vehicle) seems to be the name of the game. But we are monitoring the policies carefully. We are waiting to see well laid out policy measures (to promote electric vehicles).”