Bajaj Auto is a major Indian automobile manufacturer started by a Rajasthani merchant. It is based in Pune, Maharashtra, with plants in Chakan (Pune), Waluj (near Aurangabad) and Pantnagar in Uttaranchal. The oldest plant at Akurdi (Pune) now houses the R&D centre Ahead. Bajaj Auto makes and exports motorscooters, motorcycles and the auto rickshaw.
The Forbes Global 2000 list for the year 2005 ranked Bajaj Auto at 1946.
Over the last decade, the company has successfully changed its image from a scooter manufacturer to a two wheeler manufacturer. Its product range encompasses scooterettes, scooters and motorcycles. Its real growth in numbers has come in the last four years after successful introduction of a few models in the motorcycle segment.
The company is headed by Rahul Bajaj who is worth more than US$1.5 billion.
Bajaj Auto came into existence on November 29, 1945 as M/s Bachraj Trading Corporation Private Limited. It started off by selling imported two- and three-wheelers in India. In 1959, it obtained license from the Government of India to manufacture two- and three-wheelers and it went public in 1960. In 1970, it rolled out its 100,000th vehicle. In 1977, it managed to produce and sell 100,000 vehicles in a single financial year. In 1985, it started producing at Waluj in Aurangabad. In 1986, it managed to produce and sell 500,000 vehicles in a single financial year. In 1995, it rolled out its ten millionth vehicle and produced and sold 1 million vehicles in a year.
According to the authors of Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything, Bajaj has grown operations in 50 countries by creating a line of value-for-money bikes targeted to the different preferences of entry-level buyers.