'Expecting 12–15% industry growth this festive season': Rakesh Sharma, Bajaj Auto
Adding fuel to the festive fervour, Sharma added that the company has lined up over six new launches and upgrades in the next six months to enable further market share gains.
After an abnormal cyclical trough, the domestic two-wheeler industry is poised for strong volume-driven growth this festive season, according to Rakesh Sharma, the Executive Director of Bajaj Auto. Buoyed by a good start with Ganesh Chaturthi and Onam in the southern markets, the industry expects double-digit growth during the 33-day-long festive period, he added.
"We are expecting 12-15% industry growth during the festive season as compared to a similar period last year. Our recently launched Pulsar N150 is doing well, and we expect to outpace the industry growth on the back of our strong performance in the 125cc plus segment," Sharma told Autocar Professional during a quarterly media conference call. Notably, the festive season sales account for around 22-26% of the overall sales during a year.
Hopes ride on the perception that the resolution of OEM supply-chain issues, expected traction from new models, and easing availability of financing will encourage a healthy spending trend for this festive season, albeit with high inflation.
Like the earlier season, the industry is gearing up with offers and interest-free finance schemes to woo customers with new launches along with a 360-degree campaign on TV, print, and digital. For instance, Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, has recently announced the second edition of Hero GIFT - the Grand Indian Festival of Trust, bringing model refreshes and easy financing offers on select two-wheelers.
Adding fuel to the festive fervour, Sharma added that the company has lined up over six new launches and upgrades in the next six months to enable further market share gains. "We are coming up with new models and upgrades in the second half of the current fiscal year, which will further consolidate our position in the 125cc-250cc segment," he noted. The company is planning to launch Gen 3 KTM 250/390 Duke in the third quarter to further add to the portfolio and increase sales.
Bajaj Auto's market share in the 125cc plus segment is now 30%, and this segment accounts for 65% of its domestic two-wheeler volumes. Commenting on the input cost pressure, Sharma said that the commodity costs are largely under control and expected to remain stable in the quarter ahead, which will thereby act as a tailwind for margins.
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