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May 30, 2008

INDIA: Bajaj open to other CV alliances

Pune based Bajaj Auto is open to teaming up with other companies if JV partner Renault does not agree to commercial vehicle projects soon, but has not made a decision yet.

Pune based Bajaj Auto is open to teaming up with other companies if JV partner Renault does not agree to commercial vehicle projects soon, but has not made a decision yet.

“We haven’t reached any conclusion with Renault on that, but are open to an alliance, and if Renault does not want to partner us, it will be a Bajaj project,” said managing director Rajiv Bajaj.

Bajaj and Renault are already in a 50:50 JV with Renault and Alliance partner Nissan Motors for manufacturing a US$2,500 car by 2011.

The company is India’s second largest motorbike maker, and the largest three wheel auto rickshaw manufacturer, and plans to manufacture light trucks in the 1-3 tonne category.

Competition is already heating up in this segment and Tata Motors is leading the pack with its Ace one-tonne truck.

“We don’t have the size, the scale or the reputation to do what global car makers are doing. But our margins are a healthy 14%, which is higher than many others. The car deal with Renault does not preclude us from doing a deal with someone else for commercial vehicles. But from our side, if we do partner with somebody, it will be Renault,” said Bajaj.

Kevin Jacobs

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