Bajaj bike sales dips 20% as strike continues

Bajaj Auto, India's second largest bike producer, reported 20% drop in total sales of motorcycle during June, the reason for which partly was attributed to the production loss due to the on-going labour strike at one of its plants.

The Pune-based company recorded total sales (domestic + exports) of 2,54,544 units last month, a fall of 20%, as against sales of 3,18,377 units sold in the same month last year.

The company suffered a production loss of around 20,000-25,000 units in June due to the partial strike hitting production in the last week of the reporting month and due to the 'go-slow' approach adopted by a section of the workers at the Chakan plant.

In addition to the strike the fall in sales is also attributed to the sluggish market conditions which has impacted sales of the premium (150cc and above) category where Bajaj Auto is the market leader.

Meanwhile, production at the troubled Chakan facility has improved to operate at one-third the capacity the company used to operate at before the strike began. About 1,000 bikes were produced yesterday as against the plant's usual levels of 3,000 units per day.

The Chakan plant produces three models of KTM, all of the five models of Pulsar and Avenger. In light of the labour trouble the company had decided to move production of some Pulsar units to Aurangabad. Bajaj's other motorcycle producing unit includes Pantnagar.

While motorcycle sales suffered in June sales of commercial vehicles grew by 54% at 41,205 units as against 26,785 units sold in the same month a year ago for Bajaj Auto.