Bajaj Auto, TVS chip away at China’s share in African two-wheeler market

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In Africa, a pitched battle is being waged for the two-wheeler market leadership between China and India. Thus far, the Indians have gained ground as the share of the Chinese is receding steadily. At a time when the Indian market is staring at its steepest decline in FY-20, homegrown two-wheeler makers Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor are nibbling away share on the African continent from Chinese companies, thanks to strong double-digit growth.

Such has been the rise of Indian brands that the number of Chinese companies in Africa has come down from over 200 a decade back to almost about 30 companies.

From a share of almost about 95-100%, the share of Chinese brands in Africa has come down to less than 50%.

Bajaj Auto is either a number 1 or number 2 in over a dozen African markets with a cumulative market share of 40% of 2.4-2.7 million two wheelers sold there.

Bajaj Auto closed the last financial year with a volume of over a million units from Africa, witnessing a compounded annual growth rate of 30% in the last three years.

Rakesh Sharma, ED, Bajaj Auto claims the company enjoys a strong leadership position in the motorcycle industry across Africa, which has been accelerated in the last three years with a compounded annual growth rate of 31%. “Bajaj has been able to compete and win in Africa based on product strengths, local assembly operations providing quality assurance, network of distribution partners, dealers and service centres. With long term focus, a huge effort has been put in training tens of thousands of mechanics and establishing customer engagement programmes, which is yielding results,” said Sharma.

Called Boda Boda, the two wheelers in Africa are largely used for commercial purpose – either for transporting people or goods, with Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian brands are well placed to take advantage if personal mobility to rise once all markets open up.

Bajaj’s Boxer bikes has become a ubiquitous brand in Africa and has helped the company grow share from 25% ( 5 years ago) to 40% in 19-20.

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