The Chinese owned Italian stallion Benelli is set to go all guns blazing. The word on the street is that they plan to bring in new models to its international line-up. This includes motorcycles with engine displacement between 125 cc to 750 cc. Owned by Qianjiang Group, Benelli is trying hard to make a comeback in Europe.
The company at the last EICMA showcased quite a long list of new models, which included the very interesting TRK 502 adventure motorcycle (pictured below), quarter liter naked BN251, faired Tornado 302 and scrambler Leoncino. That is just the tip of the iceberg it seems! Speaking to MCN, Haimei Yan, General Manager, Benelli revealed the future plans of the brand which has made great strides towards a strong financial solidity over the past few years.
Here’s what she had to say:
“We currently only have the 302, the new 251 and the 600 so we can’t say we have the range at the moment to appeal to the European market. But at the end of the year we will show a far more complete range going from 125cc to 750cc. This will include the 500, a new 600 model and also a new parallel-twin 750cc, aimed directly at Europe. We are also working on giving new life to the three cylinder 899 and 1200 engines.”
Why are we getting excited in India?
Now that’s just lip smacking delicious! Why? Simply because weeks after their initial showcase, DSK Motowheels, Benelli’s Indian distributor enthusiastically confirmed and showcased most of new motorcycles for our market. And hence, it is inferred that at least some of these new yet-to-be-showcased models will be destined for India (further aided by the fact that the Indian mid size motorcycle market is growing here).
A parallel twin 750 cc, if and when brought to India, at the right price can be a real good deal among the relatively lesser options we have currently.
Europe for Benelli is right now a very small market. This new assault though can change things. The Chinese association too has not alienated the Italian angle. The three cylinder bikes are still manufactured in Italy while all the R&D takes place in Italy and other European centres. But can this Sino-Italian brand trouble the Jap and German dominance?