Bajaj Platina 100cc: The rising star of entry level segment.

Bajaj Auto never intends to pave into 100cc segment and this is the sole reason, we have seen at least 125cc version of each 100cc Bajaj motorcycle (125cc Platina, 150 cc Boxer). This is also the sole reason why company exited this segment in the year 2007. The company also discontinued some of its successful 100cc motorcycles. However, soon it realized that the era of 100cc segment is not going to end sooner. Today, the gap between Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp is more than 2,50,000 motorcycles each month which was 35,000 units in year 2006.

Hero Motocorp vs Bajaj Auto in 100cc segment

During these five years Hero Motocorp has increased its presence in 100cc segment as Bajaj Auto exited the same. It’s the first choice of buyers in the 100cc segment.  Although the share of 125cc motorcycle is increasing and it account for 34 motorcycles per 100 motorcycles (according to industry statistics), 100cc segment will further evolve itself with recent new launches in this segment.  So, where Bajaj Platina 100cc comes into picture?

Bajaj Platina 100cc was launched in the year 2006 and it became runaway success with selling five lakh motorcycles in just 8 months of its launch. Soon, Bajaj Auto decided to exit 100cc segment and launched 125cc Platina. However, the 125cc Platina failed to fetch significant sales as compared to Platina 100cc. The company further re-launched 125cc Platina but it also failed and finally the company discontinued 125cc Platina.

100cc Motorcycles: Low Cost, Low Maintenance and great fuel efficiency

The bottom line of the above three paragraphs is, entry level segment still wants 100cc motorcycle and does not want to upgrade to 125cc or higher. Currently this segment is ruled by Hero Motocorp’s CD-Dawn and CD-Delux. However, the current sales trend suggests that Platina 100cc is gaining wider acceptability in the entry level segment. Last year Bajaj Auto’s average monthly sales of Platina 100cc was 30,000 units which has now jumped to average monthly sales of 50,000 units this year. This is despite of negligible brand promotion and advertising expense.  All these incremental sales are coming due to mouth to mouth publicity.

Bajaj Platina has now established as low cost, low maintenance and high resale brand. Most of the buyers are happy on their decision to buy 100cc Platina. According to them, the motorcycle requires very less maintenance and returns fuel efficiency of 65-70 Kmpl even after five years of use. The motorcycle looks decent in the 100cc entry level segment as the original design comes from Kawasaki Bajaj Wind 125. Overall, it is a good package in 100cc entry level segment.

Despite the above fact, Bajaj Auto does not intend to further invest in Bajaj Platina 100cc as far as engine or marketing efforts are concerned. The company will produce this motorcycle as per the demand of the market. Last year it capped its production to 30,000 units but this year the company has to increase the production due to rising demand. The demand scenario is going to boost only due to rising fuel cost.

Morale of the story:

Indian consumers want proven successful engine, good looks and fuel efficiency. Such two wheeler brands do not require much push on marketing front as these brands have proven itself over a time period. Discontinuing such brands may work against the company.

-Mahavir Kothari