No Bajaj scooter launch planned and that has been reinstated by Rajiv Bajaj. Evident enough to stop believing rumours…!
Bajaj Auto once managed to dominate the entire scooter market. Back then ‘Chetak’ was the lifeline of the manufacturer which has now been pushed to the fourth spot in largest two-wheeler sales by TVS in the domestic market. Mr. Rajiv Bajaj himself once stressed the heights that Chetak had managed to gain for Bajaj Auto few decades back.
Its last product in this segment was ‘Kristal’ and with this, it bid farewell to this space.
Owing to increasing traffic and rise in women riders, scooters are being preferred over motorcycles as the more ideal mode of in-city commuting. But, the rising figures seem to have created no change to the mindset of Bajaj Auto’s topmost official. He has, yet again, reiterated his priorities which do not feature venturing into ‘conventional’ scooters.
At the official unveil of their new brand identity ‘The World’s Favourite Indian’ (details here), Rajiv Bajaj said that they kept their focus on motorcycles despite multiple distractions. Here is it in his own words..
“People will distract us everyday talking about scooters for India but we kept our eyes on the crosshairs, always making motorcycles not just for India but for the world!”
Earlier, in a statement made at the last Annual General Meeting, he again discarded the possibility of venturing into the conventional petrol-powered scooter segment. According to Money Control, answering shareholders, Rajiv Bajaj said that no company can compete successfully in every segment in India and he also cited examples of Hero and TVS. He brought Royal Enfield into the discussion and went onto support his decision by saying..
“He (Sidharth Lal of Royal Enfield) participates in almost no market and his company does very well in because it stays within its given niche of making a Royal Enfield as Royal Enfield should be. So I have only one request. Before you ask me again next year to make scooters can you please ask Siddharth Lal to make scooters? If he makes scooters I promise you I will also make scooters. Siddharth Lal makes 29% EBIDTA margin, perhaps even more because he does not make scooters”
Earlier Times of India quoted Rajiv Bajaj,
“We voted for risk 20 years ago. The choice was between staying safe with scooters in India or taking risks and making motorcycles for the world. We voted for that risk. We are set to export 2 million vehicles to over 70 countries across the world in the current fiscal from almost nothing a decade ago…”
This should end the discussion that Bajaj has any plans to venture into the conventional scooter market! However, they will be launching electric two wheelers in the coming months and it may include scooters. But conventional petrol powered scoots is not their cup of tea, as they say!
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For now, they have started a major re-focus on the domestic market share and have plans to play aggressive.