Bajaj and Kawasaki have now officially split
Starting April 1st, you wont find any green in the Pro biking showrooms.by Sagar Patil, on
Back in 2009, our very own ‘Hamara Bajaj’ and the Japanese green team Kawasaki joined hands to market motorbikes globally across developing countries, including Asia and South America. This tie-up not only helped Bajaj spread its wings, Kawasaki too started selling and servicing their 650cc and below products in the Bajaj operated pro-biking showrooms in the country. Kawasaki also assembled their CKD motorcycles, at the Bajaj Auto’s facility in Chakan.
Now, eight years after this successful partnership, both Bajaj and Kawasaki want to part away. With Bajaj making an official statement, it is safe to think that the Indian must have initiated this brink. With KTM doing very well for Bajaj, they want to indulge more in operating the Austrian orange into sharing spaces in their Pro-Biking showrooms.
When Kawasaki made partner with Bajaj, there was no offering from the Indian company that could take on the Japanese Green’s middleweight motorcycles. But the waves changed for Kawasaki when KTM came to India through Bajaj. The KTM motorcycles started sharing the same floor in the Pro-Biking showrooms, and Bajaj started doing more business due to the Austrian rather than Kawasaki. Bajaj, with its Dominar 400 has also entered the middleweight category and Bajaj wants to concentrate all its resources on running KTM and the Dominar brand alone.
It is a clear rationale that KTM’s sales gave Bajaj a better financial stability that the Kawasaki’s expensive options. Moreover, Bajaj-KTM has a stronger bond on partnership compliance, and KTM is all setting up to bring its premium Husqvarna motorcycles to the Indian stride. And this break-up is going to benefit both Bajaj and KTM to have more office space to showcase the growing model line-up from KTM, which now has five new models in the Duke and RC series.
This now means that Bajaj will no longer sell or conduct after sales service parts and service effective from April 1st. This includes after sales parts and service of existing Kawasaki customers who must’ve purchased their rides from Bajaj’s Pro-Biking showrooms. Kawasaki India will handle everything on its own.
Kawasaki has been busy setting up its own dealer network, and it is on its way to set its foot firmly in the country. Kawasaki will move all its sales to its dedicated showrooms selling all their motorcycles in the Indian product line-up. Currently, only Tier-1 cities are getting these showrooms, and this will be a hinder to Kawasaki owners at Tier 2 (or worst Tier 3) cities and towns to get after-sales. The split has resulted in Kawasaki outlets being reduced to just 12 from 160.
Although, assembly of their CKD products will still be undertaken at Bajaj’s new facility at Akurdi. But, will be handled entirely by India Kawasaki Motors, a 100% subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan.
You can expect all their bikes at dedicated Kawasaki showrooms including their CBU imports, like before. Ninja ZX-14R and Ninja ZX-10R will continue in those showrooms along with the 300 cc and 650 cc bikes. All said Kawasaki has a huge mountain to cross before it can start competing furiously in the niche segment.
Overseas, however, both these brands will still be going strong by selling the Kawasaki Bajaj badged Pulsar through the Kawasaki network in Asian countries and will be doing the same in Brazil as well.