This is the same site used for manufacturing the original Chetak scooter. The new plant is being set up in Akurdi, Pune and will have a production capacity of 500,000 vehicles per year.
When fully operational, the facility is expected to employ 800 personnel and will be spread over an area of 500,000 sq feet.
The new plant will enjoy the proximity of multiple suppliers entailing an additional investment of Rs 250 crore. In addition to being a manufacturing unit, the Akurdi plant will have a complete setup for designing and developing a new range of electric vehicles for Bajaj Auto.
Bajaj claims that since the site is co-located with Bajaj’s R&D centre the company will be able to enjoy better technical collaboration.
Presently, Bajaj Auto sells only one scooter in the form of Chetak EV, which is a recent launch. The company is now looking at entering the growing EV market in India with full-force as the two-wheeler EV market is expected to grow at a healthy pace over the next few years.
The company has not made any official comments on the types of vehicles planned to roll out of this facility but we expect a mix of motorcycles and scooters, initially skewed towards the former considering the market dynamics.
Speaking about the new unit, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto Ltd, said, “Going forward, for the Bajaj portfolio, except for implementing one state-of-the-art ICE platform that is currently under development, all our R&D drive train resources are now laser focused on creating EV solutions for the future. This alignment reflects our belief that light Electric Vehicles for sustainable urban mobility is an idea whose time may finally have come. Thus, this investment at Akurdi completes the virtuous cycle of hi-tech R&D competencies, high-efficiency engineering capabilities, world class supply chain synergies, and global distribution network which should leapfrog us into a market leading position in EVs in India and overseas.”