Bajaj Auto, which launched its Discover 125cc a fortnight ago, is targeting the 125cc bike customer and the popular 100cc bike buyer in India.
Speaking to The Hindu, K. Srinivas, President-Motorcycles, Bajaj Auto, said, the initial reaction to the Discover 125 was very good. “We have sold more than 17,000 bikes in a short span and hope to sell 35,000 units this month”.
The domestic market for 125cc bikes is around 1.7 lakh units a month. “However, we are looking at the 100cc bike buyer too as the fuel efficiency of this bike is close to a 100cc bike with added features such as higher power and new styling. Including the highly competitive 100cc bike segment, the market is around 800,000 units a month”.
The company sold 6 per cent fewer bikes in February 2014 than a year ago at 2.73 lakh units.
The Discover 125 is made out of the company’s facilities in Aurangabad and Pantnagar. Mr. Srinivas said ramping up capacity was not a problem, “but vendors have to ramp up. We have not initiated exports and will do so only after about a quarter once the initial domestic demand is met”.
Analysts felt that Bajaj had lost market share over the last two years and the new bike could help the company gain some ground. “Bajaj’s bike sales were falling since September and it has lost both volumes and about 4 per cent market share,” Surjit Arora, auto analyst, Prabhudas Lilladher, an equity broking outfit, said.
Mr. Srinivas felt that the Indian bike market was flat last year and was hopeful that the sentiment would improve soon.
“Till a few months ago, rural sales were higher but with the recent unseasonal rain, that could be in question. The overall sentiment is unlikely to improve for at least a quarter,” Mr. Arora said adding that “for a new product, the litmus test is the sales number after six months”.