Bajaj has just launched the Chetak electric scooter in India and will only sell it in Pune and Bengaluru to begin with. This, however, is not due to any constraints in terms of production capacity or the dealer network. In fact, Bajaj says that they can comfortably meet rising demand, but their intention is to monitor market response before planning which cities to expand to next. As we understand, this market response analysis in the first two cities will be conducted over the next three to four months – a duration that Bajaj says will be enough to gauge customer tendencies.
The Chetak will be retailed in India via the KTM network, which has over 400 outlets spread across 300 plus cities. Sales network clearly isn’t an issue for Bajaj in India and the same holds true for multiple international markets as well. Bajaj is not just India’s biggest auto exporter, but it is one of India’s biggest exporters in general. In the calendar year 2019, a whopping 44 percent of Bajaj’s total sales were in the export business, with the company having a presence in over 70 countries. On the sidelines of the Chetak launch, Rakesh Sharma, executive director, Bajaj Auto, told Autocar that multiple international cities have already expressed interest in the product.
Sharma explained that he expects the Chetak export plan to be a city based process, rather than a national one, because many international cities are adopting comprehensive EV policies before their entire countries do so. Much closer to home, Delhi is a prime example of this phenomenon.
Sharma also iterated that Kiska design, which is owned by KTM, has been attracted by the prospect of showing the Chetak to European customers. “We will see how Pune and Bengaluru go and we will sooner, rather than later, take on overseas expansion as well, in a limited way”
Which markets do you think the Chetak will make a strong impact in? Let us know in the comments below.