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Benelli India to invest Rs 200 crore in two years

Italian motorcycle brand Benelli plans to invest at least Rs 200 crore in its India operations over the next two years as part of a strategy to enter the country’s mass and electric two-wheeler segments, a top executive said.

Benelli, a fully-owned subsidiary of China’s Qjian Jiang Group, has a marketing tieup with Hyderabad’s Mahavir Group. It sells five models in the 300cc to 600cc range, which are imported as knocked-down kits and assembled at a facility near Hyderabad.

The motorcycle maker, which can roll out 1.2 million motorcycles annually from its Chinese facility, is mulling setting up of a manufacturing facility in India. It will make the country its second export hub after China, Dante Bustos, global chief marketing officer at Benelli, told ET along the sidelines of the launch of Benelli TRK 502 twins.

“We have an intention of making here another hub of manufacturing as China is not enough … we’re at full capacity (in China),” Bustos said, adding that the company aims to gain a leadership position in the premium mid-weight motorcycle market in India.

On bringing the company’s electric two-wheelers to India, Vikas Jhabakh, managing director of Benelli India, said Benelli is already a leader in the electric mobility space in China and it is only a matter of time before there is viability in the market for them to bring these products here.

In India, Benelli plans to launch five more products in the premium segment this year while there are plans to introduce mass-market commuter motorcycles over the next two years, Jhabhak said. The company is evaluating the scale of production, the product mix, and the location for a manufacturing facility in India, he said.

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