Rajiv Bajaj: Launching scooters would be a distracting strategy, focus firmly on motorcycles
The rumor of Bajaj Auto making a comeback into the Indian scooter market through a brand new automatic scooter launch in the middle of 2013 is less than a couple of weeks old. Even before the rumor has begun to sink in, Bajaj supremo Rajiv Bajaj has come along and in his characteristic style has poked holes in the theory of the motorcycle giant getting into the high growth automatic scooter segment. Mr Bajaj asserts that Bajaj Auto’s worldwide marketshare in the motorcycle segment is about 10% and there continues to be a massive potential for further growth. He goes on to add that in such circumstances, re-entering the scooter segment would be a more of distracting strategy rather than a de-risking strategy.
With that, all the talk of Bajaj Auto making a comeback into the automatic scooter segment might turn out to be a bunch of hot air. Bajaj Auto has been an outlier of sorts, choosing to focus on the motorcycle market when every other player in the Indian two wheeler market is jumping on to the automatic scooter bandwagon to take advantage of the big growth that this segment offers. For instance, Honda, being a market leader with the Activa, Aviator and the Dio automatic scooters, plans to launch more scooters in the future. So do Piaggio and Yamaha, both of whom entered the automatic scooter segment in India last year. TVS Motors has a couple of scooter launches lined up for this year.
Market leader in the two wheeler sector, Hero MotoCorp, has two scooters on sale currently and so does Suzuki. In light of these facts, Bajaj Auto is the only big volume two wheeler major to not have an automatic scooter in its portfolio and this is something that could continue in the coming years as well as Mr Rajiv Bajaj has reiterated his company’s focus on motorcycles. Bajaj Auto has been a leader in terms of launching tech packed motorcycles in India. The latest launch from Bajaj Auto in the 100cc commuter motorcycle space, the Discover 100T, is the most tech packed motorcycle in the 100cc space with a 4 valve engine head and a five speed gearbox.
The coming months will see a slew of high performance products launched by Bajaj Auto. The 2013 KTM Duke 390, the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300R and the Bajaj Pulsar 375 are three motorcycles that Indian motorcycle enthusiasts are waiting for with bated breath. All three motorcycles will be the most technologically advanced products that Bajaj Auto has ever sold in India, further underscoring the motorcycle giant’s commitment to give Indian motorcyclists a taste of high performance products at affordable prices.