Let us quickly share this interesting Dominar vs Pulsar RS200 pricing journey…
Bajaj showcased the Pulsar CS400 (CS stood for cruiser sports) back at the 2014 Auto Expo and it drew huge interests. Before its launch in December 2016, even the most optimistic estimates predicted that this 373cc motorcycle would retail at around Rs 1.50-1.60 Lakhs.
However, Bajaj had kept a bomb for 16th December – the day of the official launch of Dominar 400. They announced the motorcycle for a price which was as low as Rs 1.36 Lakh ex-showroom Delhi for the non-ABS version (the ABS version got a label of Rs 1.50 Lakh). Here is our launch article. This 1.36 Lakh was very close to the price of Pulsar RS200 – a 200cc motorcycle (for the single channel ABS version).
Deliveries commenced later in 2017 but why the shocking price tag did not materialise into sales is not known to anyone. Buoyed by the overall product along with the price tag Rajiv Bajaj went onto predict a target of 10,000 units – per month – something which no other motorcycle of this size and price has done before (apart from the Royal Enfields)! However, Dominar has been far from its original sales target.
Soon after Bajaj realised that their sales target was far-fetched and they started working on changing the image of the motorcycle from a low-cost power cruiser to a more premium mile muncher. Its result was recently seen when it got Upside Down front forks, richer instrument clusters, bassier double barrel exhaust canister and a power hike in the 2019 edition.
Bajaj also liberated itself of a very tight price point and the 2019 Dominar now costs Rs 1.74 Lakhs (now only available in the ABS trim since no one can produce non-ABS 125cc+ motorcycles from 1st April 2019 in India). All this while, Pulsar RS200’s price has also seen a minor increment.
As it stands today, after nearly 2.5 years, the price difference between both the siblings (which was almost negligible in 2017) has become ~Rs 34,000 or equal to the price of a CT100, Bajaj’s most affordable motorcycle in the country! Do factor in that in 2017 it was a comparison of ABS vs non-ABS models and at present we only have the ABS models on sale – but a person with a budget of 1.4 Lakh did have an option of cross-shopping Dominar – a near 400cc motorcycle then (compromising on safety though).
Now the question is for you guys – will this ‘price hike’ impact Dominar’s sales or will the ‘premium image’ help it gain more traction in the market?