DSK Benelli rolls out TNT 25 for Rs 1.68 lakh

For the ongoing financial year, DSK Benelli is targeting to sell close to 2,000 units of the Benelli motorcycles on sales in India.

Amit Panday By Amit Panday calendar 18 Dec 2015 Views icon10983 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Launching its most affordable offering yet, DSK Benelli today commercially rolled out its liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 249cc, 28.16bhp naked-street model, the TNT 25. The company has launched two variants of this model – standard and premium, pricing them aggressively at Rs 168,000 and Rs 175,000 respectively. Both prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.

According to Shirish Kulkarni, chairman, DSK Motowheels, the basic difference between both the variants is the front and rear tyre options. While the standard variant sports MRF tyres, the premium TNT 25 comes with Metzeler tyres, which are known for softer rubber compound and better surface grip.

Bajaj Auto’s KTM Duke 390, which gained instant popularity when it was launched two years ago, is known to offer the Metzeler tyres as a standard fitment.

The TNT 25, which is the first single-cylinder motorcycle and sixth offering from the Benelli brand in India, will be imported via completely knocked down (CKD) route, and is currently assembled at DSK Motowheels Wai assembly facility. According to Kulkarni, the facility currently can assemble upto 25 motorcycles per day as against its last year’s assembly capacity of 10 units per day. Notably, the current allocation of the assembly capacity at the company’s Wai facility stands at 60:40 for Benelli and Hyosung brands respectively for every 100 units that are rolled out.

The DSK Benelli brand, within which the company has been selling five models (300cc TNT 300, 600cc TNT 600i and TNT 600GT, 898cc TNT 899 and 1131cc TNT R), has made bookings in the range of 1,500-1,600 units and has delivered close to 975 units in the past eight months of business across its showrooms in India.

The brand is currently sold via 15 dealerships, and the company plans to boost this number to 25 dealerships in next one year.

It can be recalled that in October last year DSK Motowheels had formally announced its arrangement with the Italian brand Benelli and had also unveiled five models for the Indian market then. These models were commercially launched in March 2015 across nine dealerships then.

The Benelli TNT 25 holds strategic importance as it will not only consolidate Benelli’s positioning as a capable Italian motorcycle brand but it will also boost the market reach and positioning for DSK Motowheels as a company that imports, locally assembles, markets and sells two foreign brands in India – Hyosung and Benelli.

On the other hand, DSK Benelli will now have an upper hand in terms of offering multiple choices in the midsized motorcycle segment that is roughly understood as models with an engine displacement range of 250cc-800cc as per the classification followed by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Precisely, at the affordable end of the midsized motorcycle segment, DSK Benelli now becomes the only brand to offer a single-cylinder 249cc motorcycle (TNT 25) as well as slightly bigger, twin-cylinder, 300cc motorcycle, the TNT 300 in its local portfolio. This is understood to pep up its sales decently from the lower end.

Closest is Kawasaki’s India portfolio that currently offers two models at the affordable end of the said segment (250cc-300cc) via parallel-twin, 249cc Z250 and parallel-twin, 296cc Ninja 300 motorcycles. However, Kawasaki is expected to soon populate this space with another model that would fill in for the void left by the absence of a potential single-cylinder, 250cc model. 

Talking to Autocar Professional, Kulkarni disclosed that the company now aims to reach out to the smaller towns with its most affordable offering, the TNT25, which will roughly target youngsters with an age group of 18-28 years. Based on the response TNT 25 has received, Kulkarni anticipates selling around 8,000 units of this model alone in one year, boosting the overall sales of DSK Benelli in India.

According to the company officials, it has already received close to 250 soft bookings of the TNT 25.

For the ongoing financial year, DSK Benelli is targeting to sell close to 2,000 units of the Benelli motorcycles on sales in India.

The Benelli TNT 25, which lacks an ABS feature for now and has an ABS-equipped variant in the pipeline, will potentially compete with KTM 200 Duke (and KTM RC200), Bajaj Pulsar RS200, Honda’s CBR250R, Kawasaki’s Z250 and Mahindra Two Wheeler’s Mojo, if not more models.

Kulkarni also confirmed that DSK Motowheels has purchased and acquired 22 acres of land at Talegaon (near Pune) where it is in the process of constructing a full-fledged assembly facility.

Remaining tight lipped on the developments on this front, Kulkarni added “we will make an announcement on this front in another 3-4 months.”

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