When Rahul Bajaj would sit and look back, his decision to exit from the 100cc segment would go down as one of the most immature decisions. It was Bajaj’s exit for two years which allowed, the market leaders, Hero Honda, to increase their share from 48 percent to 64 percent in August 2009. But when Rahul Bajaj sits and look back again, reentering the 100cc segment would be one of the wisest decisions he would have made in the last decade. And the results have started pouring in thick and fast! Within a very short span of time after its launch in August 2009, Discover has grown rapidly to become the third largest selling brand in the industry.
Hero Honda is the current leader in 100cc market which had a share of 69 percent earlier. But after the launch and settling of Bajaj’s 100cc warhorse Discover, Hero Honda’s share has fallen to 64 percent. These figures do not make much of a difference when looked at with a casual eye, but if we are told that Bajaj’s 100cc market grew by 6 percent to 23 percent during the same time, our eyes remain wide open. As they say it, one man’s loss is another’s gain; Hero Honda lost some ground which was snatched by Bajaj.
With the ever burgeoning 100cc market, there are immense opportunities for manufacturers to tab. And when all the manufacturers are increasing prices which goes along with a possible big fuel price increase, 100cc segment looks hot favorite to come out champion. These figures are not yet discomforting for Hero Honda as of now, but with all manufacturers which include TVS, Yamaha and Mahindra, running after Hero Honda’s pie, it might become a daunting task for the leaders to maintain the lead. And with the launch of Twister in the similar segment by the sister concern, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India, Hero Honda might further face the heat.
– Saad Khan