Bajaj rides on Discover to regain market share — Business

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Bajaj Discover

Bajaj rides on Discover to market share

July 07, 11:58 IST

R iding high on its model, Bajaj Auto has away a nine per cent in the motorcycle market from Hero Honda during the ended June (see

While Bajaj’s market went up from 25 per cent to 34 per between April and June, Honda’s share fell 56 per cent to 47 per cent during period. Others like TVS and Honda Motorcycle Scooters retained their share.

was a bike first launched in and extended to the 100cc segment year.

Bajaj claims the (with sales of 114,000 in June) has emerged as the second-largest brand in motorcycles, overtaking Honda’s Passion (106,000 but trailing its market leader, (160,000 a month).

If the Discover its momentum, it could overtake in three to six months, said S Bajaj Auto’s CEO for two-wheelers. a good chance of it managing to do so, Hero Honda spoils the by dropping prices for Splendor or

Bajaj is expanding motorcycle by 300,000 per annum and from it will be able to produce a month of Discover bikes. has also launched a 150cc of the bike and hopes to sell of these every month, it’s available across

For several months, Bajaj has reporting 60-80 per cent in volumes. In the past five its domestic sales jumped 98 per while the industry grew at 30 per and Hero Honda grew at per cent, albeit on a much base.

This is partly due to a effect. Bajaj’s domestic had slipped to 110,000 units a last year as consumer dried up during the downturn but Hero

Honda continued to do as consumers in rural areas in cash.

Brand category

The effect is half the story. The in Bajaj’s sales is driven by the and the company’s renewed focus on the commuter segment.

Bajaj made the mistake of to move away from bikes, hoping commuters upgrade to more powerful and bikes, which are its strength.

monthly volumes have from an average of 24,000 in the quarter of launch (of the 100cc) to an of 110,000 in the last quarter.

has been a branding, technology and story and the reason for the spurt in said Sridhar. Growth taper from August as the becomes high but still at 40 per cent.

Hero Honda had a start in four-… bikes and its Splendor and Passion, were as frugal, reliable, commuter Attempts in the early 2000s to them head-on proved and models like Caliber and failed to cut ice.

That’s Bajaj adopted a flanking to counter Hero Honda, to … it from the top as well the bottom.

The bigger and sportier created a niche at the top, now the segment, while its price-driven, strategy worked till Honda dropped prices and saw it as a zero-sum game.

However, Bajaj was exposed in the where Honda ruled Splendor and Passion, and Bajaj did not any products to counter these.

For a Bajaj tried to move away from the 100cc to 125cc bikes, by offering more for the same money.

In Bajaj had launched XCD, a bike in 125cc, which 20,000 a month but wasn’t enough. Bajaj then a 100cc bike on the XCD platform its chassis, engine and gearbox), it to price attractively.


But Bajaj had learnt a few lessons its past failures and tried to them in the new bike package. For it had understood that it was not enough to on features; the starting point for a was the brand, which reassures

Bajaj had a good brand in (until then available in and 135cc), which enjoyed the of a bigger and sportier bike and at Rs 50,000.

Bajaj felt a customer’s with a brand was important, and settled for this one for its new 100cc that delivered an on-road of 80 km to a litre.

While the bike was and sportier from outside, it was from inside: the DTS-Si on a 100cc format delivered a mileage, said Sridhar. It put in features which commuters find in sportier bikes.

include a longer wheel a five-speed gear box, choke and gas-filled shock which are found in performance but come in more than in negotiating bumpy rural To complete its 4-F strategy for Discover frugal, features, and fun), it it in a more peppy, 150cc

You need to change the engine oil once a year against six usually. We added many elements, which once a uses, they get used to, Sridhar.

This product was well with a Discover campaign, where the key message was there are many India’s one India — a village of called Jambur near a village in Karnataka where speak only in Sanskrit, or a in Maharashtra where houses no doors.

More important, the ads tried to that many of these are located less than 100 km different cities, and you can reach in a Discover with one litre of

Hero Honda’s Splendor had a run. For 15 years, it had built a pedigree, with 11.5 sold. But in less than a of launch, Discover is the second-largest bike after Splendor and has a chance of over-taking the latter.

A Honda spokesperson said: Our has been robust and we have posting million-plus sales quarter for the last five We reported our highest-ever monthly of 435,000 in May, followed by yet 400,000-plus sales figure in a 16 per cent growth.

This further consolidated our leadership. Splendor and Passion are the million-plus units in two-wheeler in the country and continue to grow

Discover commands a premium of Rs over Splendor, which boost Bajaj’s bottom Partly why the Bajaj scrip 161.7 per cent over the overtaking the Bombay Stock auto index, as well as Hero Honda, which only 55.4 per cent.

At Rs the Bajaj scrip was quoting its 52-week high of Rs 2,506.90, on June 29.

Ranju Sarkar in New

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