If you follow us on Instagram, you would know we interviewed Benelli India Head and MD Vikas Jhabakh during our discussion on the sidelines of the Imperalie 400 launch. The motorcycle is doing really well but that doesn’t stop the manufacturer from launching some more motorcycles. Once BS6 compliant, Benelli India will launch their massive portfolio in the Indian market. The manufacturer has the widest range from 250cc to 1100cc for everyone. Benelli is the only high-end motorcycle manufacturer to launch almost everything it offers that is relevant to the Indian market.
What other products does Benelli have in its BS6 line-up?
Our main objective was to bring the BS6 Imperiale 400 back in the market. Initially, we wanted to bring the bike in April 2020 but due to the pandemic crisis, the plan got delayed. That said, we are glad to have brought it back into the market now.
As far as the remaining portfolio is concerned, we intend to bring back the entire line-up in the BS6 format. To start with, Benelli’s 500cc line-up is also in the final stages of homologation and they should be reintroduced in the market by the end of this calendar year. Post that, we will focus on bringing back the 300cc range, after which, the Leoncino 250 and the 600i will follow suit.
Why the increase in the Imperiale 400 pricing?
Initially, the Imperiale 400 was launched at an introductory price of Rs. 1.69 Lakhs. Post which, the prices were revised to Rs. 1,79, 500 (both prices, ex-showroom). So, the prices have gone up by just Rs. 19,500, which is only a 10% increase over the BS4 pricing. The prices have majorly gone up due to the BS6 transition. And up to some extent, the increase in dollar rate has also made an impact.
Will the newly introduced SRK 600 aka TNT 600i, be making its way to India?
The TNT 600i has always been the most popular model from the Benelli stable. So, it is definitely a product that we would like to bring back into our portfolio. The bike has certainly received a spec update globally and our focus will be to bring it to India with these new updates. As I mentioned earlier, we won’t be bringing in any new models this year. However, the 600 is definitely something that we are planning to re-introduce by the end of this year or early next year.
What about the Leoncino 250 and the 300 siblings?
We are currently focusing on bringing the 302S in the market, which is the updated version of the TNT 300. We expect to launch it closer to the end of this calendar year or early next year, depending on how soon we can move things around with the homologation. The 302R will also be introduced at the same time, post which, the Leoncino 250 will also be making a comeback.
Any value-added service being offered to customers? What is the maintenance cost of the Imperiale 400?
There is a range of value-added services on offer, for the Imperiale 400. To start with, the Imperiale 400 comes with a 2-year complimentary service that includes 5 periodic maintenance services. During these 5 services, the labour cost is complimentary and the cost of all 5 services in total, including spares and consumables, is just Rs. 8936+tax. The interval between each service is 6000kms.
For a peaceful ownership experience, the Imperiale 400 also comes with best-in-class, 3 years unlimited KMS warranty. We have also introduced a 3rd-yearAnnual Maintenance contract, which enables the customers to save up to 52% cost over the actual cost of 2 periodic maintenance services. We also have 24X7 Road Side Assistance and Pick & Drop facility for getting the vehicles serviced.
How many showrooms does Benelli have in India now? What is the expansion plan for this year?
As of today, Benelli India has 28 showrooms spread across the country and we have another 14 outlets that are under various stages of completion. But once the lockdown opens completely, we will be focusing on ramping up the completion process and launch them. This should take us to 42 outlets across India. Earlier we were targeting 100 outlets by the end of this financial year. Nonetheless, we are still confident about setting up 70 outlets by the end of the financial year.
What numbers do you expect from the BS6 Imperiale 400?
We are a young company in India and keeping in mind the existing footprint of 28 showrooms along with our immediate expansion plan of 14 more showrooms, which bring the count to 42 Benelli India dealerships, we are targeting about 1500-2000 numbers a month to start with, and then scale up from there.
What are your plans on bringing the 800cc and higher displacement Benelli motorcycles to India?
Benelli on a global platform is once again looking to strengthen their position in the 750cc and above segment. Benelli’s expansion plans were also very evident when they unveiled the TRK 800 and Leoncino 800 models alongside the 752S.
Particularly for India though, our current focus is to introduce the 600cc and sub-600cc category into the market. We do intend to bring in the bigger displacement offerings from Benelli, but that is something we can look at probably by the end of 2021.