Exclusive: Bajaj Auto readies new 150cc Avenger, aims to double cruiser sales
If sources close to the new Bajaj Avenger project(s) are to be believed, the company has prepared an all-new 150cc Avenger, a smaller sibling of its popular 220cc cruiser model
In a bid to give a fillip to sales of its Avenger cruiser, Bajaj Auto is learnt to have readied a 150cc variant of its cruiser model.
If sources close to the new Bajaj Avenger project(s) are to be believed, the company has prepared an all-new 150cc Avenger, a smaller sibling of its popular 220cc cruiser model that has been on sale in the domestic market (and select export markets) for more than five years now.
It can be recalled that Bajaj Auto had rolled out the Avenger 220, which had then borrowed its powerplant from the 220cc Pulsar 220 DTS-i, in mid-2010. The Avenger 220 was an upgrade from an earlier model (Avenger 200 DTS-i) that was powered by a 199cc engine. Bajaj Auto is also known for once having a 180cc Avenger cruiser on sale in the domestic territories.
However, currently the company sells only one model in its cruiser class – the Bajaj Avenger 220, which is powered by a four-stroke, single-cylinder engine that comes with the company’s patented DTS-i technology. The air- and oil-cooled engine delivers a peak power output of close to 18bhp (at 8400rpm) and a peak torque of 1.78kgm (at 7000rpm). According to the company’s website, the Avenger 220 retails at an ex-showroom, Delhi price of Rs 81,596 making it the most affordable cruiser motorcycle model in the country. Industry experts point out that this is the only reason behind the market hold of the Bajaj Avenger 220 that continues to sell despite the absence of any substantial changes it has seen in the last five years.
It can be noted that the model has still managed to sell an average of close to 3,643 units per month for the ongoing financial year. During the corresponding period of the last fiscal, the model sold an average of 3,766 units per month. This not only highlights a strong hold the Bajaj Avenger 220 continues to have in the domestic market but also indicates the evident potential the cruiser segment has among the motorcycle buyers in India.
This is where Bajaj Auto plans to step in and roll out yet another cruiser model (before any other competitor) in an unexplored segment (150cc engine displacement).
The 150cc Avenger, hence, will come at a more affordable price point than its elder sibling and is, therefore, expected to encash into the pent-up demand for cruiser motorcycles for buyers looking for stylish cruisers at more affordable price range.
Autocar Professional also learns that the company is targeting consolidated monthly sales of close to 8,000–9,000 units for its Avenger range in the coming months.
An analyst from a leading financial services firm who closely tracks the developments at Bajaj Auto, on the conditions of anonymity, told Autocar Professional that "market results so far in the last two quarters are spot on as anticipated by the management at Bajaj Auto. The company has been working hard to revive its market share and has been performing well for the last few months. This is expected to continue during the festive season and in the last quarter of the ongoing financial year as well."
“With new Avenger model(s) coming soon, the management has plans to sell Avenger models in the range of 8,000–10,000 units per month, which would be a remarkable jump for sales in that category. There is a substantial room for growing the export numbers as well for the new Avenger model(s),” the analyst added.
Three sources in the know of the Avenger project(s) informed that the new Avenger portfolio may also include facelifted Avenger 220 models, which would include cosmetic changes. “An all-new Avenger 150 is going to come soon along with cosmetically upgraded Avenger 220 models,” revealed a source, requesting anonymity.
Confirming the same, a few company dealers have hinted at a timeframe of end-October to the first week of November for the new Avenger model rollout. As Bajaj Auto is expected to be building its pre-launch stock currently, the bike’s bookings, as dealers say, could begin around the commercial launch time.
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