Benelli may have dropped its plans to install a manufacturing facility in India, but it has other aggressive plans for the market.
Benelli plans to enter India’s electric vehicle space. In a recent post on its social networking handles, the company said:
We are also actively exploring the EV (Electric Vehicle) opportunity in the Indian market. This is based on the clear indication from the government about a shift in focus from combustion engines under the 150 cc category to electric mobility.
Regular followers would know that the Government of India has aggressive plans for mass electrification of two-wheelers by 2025. The revised GST rate and tax benefits on loans for electric vehicles is going to make owning EVs much more affordable. The GST on EVs has been reduced from 12% to 5%. The FAME-II subsidy further lowers the prices of products that comply with the norms set in the scheme.
The mass electrification of two-wheelers was also the reason behind the company cancelling the plans to install a manufacturing facility in India. Meanwhile, Benelli has increased the capacity at its plant near Hyderabad to 20,000 units. The Italian marque said in the same social media post:
Benelli India is proud to announce that we have increased our production capacity at our assembly facility in Hyderabad from 7,000 units to 20,000 units annually. We further have the opportunity to double our production capacity to 40,000 units annually based on market demand.
Apart from electric vehicles, Benelli plans to introduce a sub-500 cc product in India. The upcoming product will rival the Royal Enfield Classic 350 and the Jawa motorcycles in the sub-INR 2 lakh price bracket. The company would also introduce two new bikes in the quarter-litre segment that would retail in a premium range. Expect the upcoming quarter-litre Benelli products to arrive above the INR 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom) mark. Benelli is also considering scooters for the Indian market.
Meanwhile, the company has expanded its product portfolio with the launch of the Leoncino 500. The middleweight scrambler is available at an ex-showroom (India) price of INR 4.79 lakh. While the Leoncino 500 range comprises three variants, Benelli has introduced just one variant for the Indian market. The company may launch more variants depending on the response to the standard Leoncino 500.