Bajaj Auto has reported worldwide motorcycle sales of 3,48,173 units in April 2021, overtaking market leader Hero MotoCorp to become India's number one motorcycle seller in April 2021. Despite a 35 per cent decline in monthly sales in April 2021, compared to March 2021, Hero MotoCorp is still ahead in overall volumes, with 3,72,285 units, but that number includes both scooters and motorcycles. Hero's overall motorcycle sales in April 2021 stood at 3,39,329 units, while scooter sales in April 2021 were reported at 32,956 units. However, domestic sales numbers for Bajaj in April 2021 still suffered a 30 per cent loss compared to March 2021 sales numbers. Bajaj despatched 1,26,570 units in April 2021 in the domestic market, compared to 1,81,393 units in March 2021.
India's Domestic market sales are down due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic across India and subsequent lockdowns. While Hero and other brands seem to be affected more by domestic market challenges, Bajaj seems to be relatively unaffected due to its strong export numbers. Bajaj Auto is India's largest exporter of motorcycles, and the company began the new financial year with strong exports performance, with 2,21,603 units depatched to overseas markets alone, with overall domestic and export market sales volumes at 3,48,173 units. Comparatively, Hero's domestic market combined two-wheeler sales in April 2021 alone accounted for 3,42,614 units, despite a 37 per cent decline in sales from March 2021. In March 2021, Hero had sold 5,76,957 units.
Commenting on the milestone, Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto said, "We have commenced FY2022 on a very positive note despite the challenging environment. The wide range of motorcycles made by us cover the entire spectrum from entry, middle and up to premium level segments allowing us to engage with a wide spectrum of customers from the mototaxi driver in Africa to the adventure seeker in Europe! This versatility is of enormous value in managing the current volatility as well as uncertainty and to keep the wheels of business moving for all our stakeholders!"
Bajaj Auto accounted for almost 60 per cent of India's motorcycle and three-wheeler exports last year. In FY 2020-21, Bajaj Auto's export income stood at ₹ 12,687 crore, with 52 per cent of its volumes exported to over 79 countries. Bajaj exported over 18 million vehicles cumulatively over the last 10 years. The company's global sales have earned over $14 billion of foreign exchange over the last decade, Bajaj Auto said in a statement. Bajaj Auto is the world's third largest manufacturer of motorcycles after Hero MotoCorp and Honda.
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Bajaj Auto has a highly successful partnership with KTM AG, under which Bajaj manufactures KTM and Husqvarna bikes at Bajaj Auto's manufacturing facility at Chakan, Pune. Nearly 50 per cent of KTM's annual global sales are jointly designed by KTM and Bajaj, and manufactured in India. To support the rising demand for its products globally, Bajaj Auto recently announced a major investment of Rs 650 crore in a fourth plant to be built at Chakan, Maharashtra for its premium motorcycle brand portfolio and the Chetak electric scooter.
The iconic Chetak name has been revived as a premium electric scooter last year, which has received overwhelming response in the domestic market. Bookings for the Chetak were re-opened recently and were sold-out in less than 36 hours in Pune & Bengaluru. The company plans to scale up its presence to 24 more cities in the coming year. While Bajaj just has the Chetak in its scooter portfolio, Hero's overall two-wheeler sales, including both motorcycles and scooters, is still more than Bajaj Auto.