AAPICO Hitech Plc and Sojitz Group today announced a collaboration to penetrate into the local motorcycle sector in 2020 with an initial investment of Baht 400 million. The newly-established joint venture, Vroom Co., Ltd., has been appointed the authorized importer and distributor of Bajaj, KTM and Husqvarna global brands.
With world-class manufacturing facilities in India and around the world, Bajaj is the world's No. 3 motorcycle brand with a global operational spread over 70 countries. During the fiscal year of 2019, the India-based company reported two-wheeler sales of more than 4.2 million units, of which 1.7 million units were exported to countries outside of India generating revenues totaling 4.6 Billion USD. Underlining the importance of Thailand as its top priority market, Bajaj plans to move its regional HQ office to Bangkok in 2020.
Austria-based KTM Industries AG manufactures and distributes both the KTM and Husqvarna brands and have an equity partnership with Bajaj. The company is not only the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe, but is also regarded as one of the leading off-road and sport motorcycle manufacturers in the world. In 2018, KTM Industries AG sold a total of 261,454 motorcycles - 212,899 KTM and 48,555 Husqvarna – worldwide, reflecting a 10% growth compared to the previous year and a revenue of Euro 1,560 million, recording another high result for 8 consecutive years.
While KTM motorcycles have an established reputation for being fast and agile off-road sporty bikes, the Husqvarna brand, originating from Sweden, prides itself as being regarded as an innovative leader in both the single-cylinder street and the ultimate off-road racing motorcycles around the world.
"We strongly believe in the potential of the sport motorcycle segment in Thailand and we are delighted to have a highly experienced partner who have shown an excellent track record in the automotive business in the country. The new distribution establishes our presence in the promising Thailand market by using synergies from our strong alliance with Bajaj, while supporting our long-term oriented strategy", explains Luca Martin, CEO, KTM ASIA.
"Although the overall domestic motorcycle market has been sluggish since recording a sales high of 2.13 million units in 2012, we are confident that the sporty models that we are planning to introduce from these 3 reputable brands into the Thai market will receive a warm welcome, especially by 'big bike' enthusiasts", revealed Mr. Yoshiaki Ichimura, President of Sojitz Autrans Corporation of Sojitz Group.
"AAPICO is extremely excited by the challenge of this new business venture, and we look forward to diversifying from the automotive industry into the motorcycle sector in 2020. I believe that with our long-standing partner, Sojitz Group, and our experienced and very capable team at Vroom, AAPICO can achieve another milestone in its history. Needless to say, we are greatly privileged to have been entrusted by Bajaj and KTM Industries to further strengthen their world-class motorcycle brands in Thailand", said Mr. S. C. Yeap, President & CEO of SET-listed AAPICO Hitech Plc.
Vroom Co., Ltd. will be ably helmed by CEO, Mr. Hideki Yanagisawa, former President of Hyundai Motor Thailand, along with Mr. Varot Kamolchotiros, COO.
"Vroom is committed in being a customer-centric company; meaning that our top priority is to achieve complete customer satisfaction through not only offering motorcycle models that are on our customers' 'wish-list', but also provide them the best possible after sales service. This will translate into immediate availability of spare parts and timely maintenance. Presently, we are seeking qualified partners to join our dealership network to ensure maximum coverage around the country to realize this commitment", said Mr. Yanagisawa, CEO of Vroom Co., Ltd.
The company's flagship showroom is currently under construction at Ladprao Soi 122, and is scheduled to open in March this year with plans to launch selected Bajaj, KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles at the Bangkok International Motor Show in March 2020.