New Chetak, bigger Pulsar, CNG 2W on cards for Bajaj Auto in the coming months 

Bajaj Auto has been focusing on the 125cc plus segment in the motorcycle market to improve its market share and improve margins amid the premiumisation trend in the industry.

By Kiran Murali calendar 25 Jan 2024 Views icon4580 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Image used for representation purposes only

Image used for representation purposes only

Riding on strong outperformance and market share gains, Bajaj Auto is stepping on the accelerator to bring out new products, on network expansion and on new technologies to push ahead. On the anvil are a series of new launches across segments right from Chetak, Pulsar 400 as well as a compressed natural gas-powered two-wheeler. The company is planning to replicate its three-wheeler leadership in the ICE and CNG segment in the two-wheeler segment by adding new cities and networks to bring in incremental sales.  

“In the domestic motorcycle market, we grew at twice the rate of the industry in the Oct to Dec quarter. But our focus is on the top half of the industry, which is the 125cc plus segment. There, we grew three times the rate of the industry growth. As a result of this, our market share went close to 31 percent, which is a striking distance of leadership. This has been achieved on the back of some good launches,” Bajaj Auto’s Executive Director Rakesh Sharma told reporters in a post-earnings call.

Bajaj Auto has been focusing on the 125cc plus segment in the motorcycle market to improve its market share and improve margins amid the premiumisation trend in the industry. “With new launches in the market, network expansion, and impactful acceleration, we have our eyes set on a bigger ambition and increasing scale in the months ahead,” Bajaj Auto’s management said in another post-earnings call. 

Product launches have been a major focus of the two-wheeler makers recently in a bid to address the evolving diverse needs of Indian consumers. Also, some companies believe that new product launches can drive sales at a time when the economy is recovering and growing at a faster pace. Bajaj Auto’s arch rival Hero MotoCorp had said 2023-2024 would see the highest number of product launches from the company as well. 

The automaker’s market share in the electric two-wheeler market rose almost threefold to 14% with its Chetak brand at the end of the third quarter from 5% in the year-ago period. Bajaj Auto has introduced a new Chetak model in December. 

Currently, the company sells around 10,000 electric scooters, compared to 3,000-4,000 units at the beginning of the financial year. Sharma noted that Bajaj Auto is targeting to increase Chetak’s monthly sales to 15,000 units by March and plans to add a new model to the Chetak portfolio in the first quarter of the next financial year. 

On expanding the product portfolio in the ICE business, the company’s management said, “Every month you will see two or three upgrades between now and April-May. We are hoping to present a bigger Pulsar in the first quarter the next year. There is nothing like new product launches and upgrades to excite the upper half of the industry.” 

Autocar Professional had earlier reported that Bajaj Auto is planning to launch a 110cc CNG motorcycle in 2024-2025. The management confirmed the news about the CNG motorcycle being developed, which will be launched next financial year.

Meanwhile, the management said the Triumph Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X are getting positive responses in both domestic and export markets. The company plans to increase the models’ production capacity to 30,000 units by the first half of the next financial year from the current 10,000 units per month. Bajaj Auto is also looking to double the availability of Triumph models by March from the current 41 cities.

“A very important target for the team is to make the Triumph brand very real for the customers through direct engagement for them to experience the authentic classic and heritage brand. So we are trying to build this enabler of growth which is a very nice shopping environment and good product portfolio. Right now it is two (products) and this will slowly be increased to three,” the management added.

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