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IKM, a 100 percent subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan, is working on setting up its own motorcycle assembly plant in Chakan, near Pune. The company, which ended its eight-year alliance with Bajaj recently, is working on scaling up its local operations, restructuring and expanding its teams and retail network as a result of the separation.
The alliance allowed Kawasaki to use sales and aftersales services from Bajaj Auto-owned Probiking network (comprising over 300-plus showrooms) since 2009. Bajaj’s Probiking showrooms slowly switched to KTM dealerships as the Austrian bikemaker gained popularity in India.
India Kawasaki was keen on standardising activities across several operations - from local assembly, parts procurement to retail and aftersales services. The company has not released any details of the upcoming facility in Chakan, its proposed investments, targeted annual production capacity and other critical areas.
Kawasaki’s annual production capacity at Bajaj Auto’s Akurdi-based assembly line is close to 10,000 units. The company sold nearly 1,400 units in CY2016.
“CY2016 was a challenging year for us as we are trying to improve our business. We are very positive for our future growth, we are expanding our operations, working on parts procurement and localisation step by step. Our highest priority is to take care of our customers. So, we are working to increase our network, which we plan to grow by 30-40 percent this year. We have already launched six new models this year and more new motorcycles will come,” Yutaka Yamashita, managing director, IKM said.