Bajaj Auto Limited, the nation’s second largest player when it comes to two – wheelers has decided to bring in more high displacement bikes from KTM stable into India. Bajaj presently owns around 40 per cent share in KTM, Austrian bike maker known for its naked street bikes all across the globe.
The company will be launching bikes in the range of 200cc to 700cc in the coming years. Duke 200 was already launched for the Indian market a couple of weeks back and marks the entry of KTM into the Indian market. There is of course a great potential for these bikes here depending on the price tag they’ll be bearing along their necks.
Bajaj, though is on a lead in the race with its other counterparts like Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, it becomes mandatory of it to come up with new products which will enhance the company in maintaining its current position and slowly to climb up the ladder. Bajaj Auto Limiter is interested in getting the leadership position in the premium bike segment in the years to come.
Bajaj aims to position the Pulsar in the value-for-money sports bike segment which has hot an amazing potential and Pulsar brand is already leading the race in this segment. Its Austrian partner KTM’s motorcycles will be fighting at the premium end of the market.
“We share the same development process with KTM, so you can expect there will be ‘a much bigger Pulsar’ next year, because we think the market is at an inflection point (at the premium end) and we are in a good position to take advantage with these two brands,” Managing Director, Mr. Rajiv Bajaj said.
The company will also be launching a 350 cc Pulsar for the Indian market next year.Now that should be great news for the PulsarManics out here. Bajaj said the company will come out with 350cc Pulsar next year and it is exploring even bigger motorcycles under the Pulsar brand. “There will be a 350 cc Duke next year, so you can expect something similar with the Pulsar next year. And going forward, in 2014-15 there will be even bigger KTM and even bigger Pulsar,” Bajaj said.
The company is also gearing up with the capacity of 1 00,000 units at its Chakan plant to cater the demand created for the company by its new range of Pulsars and the KTM motorcycles. The month of January saw to new bike launched from Bajaj – Duke 200 and the Pulsar 200NS (Naked Sport). Both these bikes have been jointly developed by Bajaj and KTM. The two companies are likely to jointly bring in 350 cc and 690 cc motorcycles under the Bajaj banner over the next few years. The joint R&D for vehicle and engine development will help the company to maintain the cost and help itself maintain a 20 per cent EBIDTA margins.
On the pricing front which determines a company’s success in the Indian market, price positioning will be similar in bigger models for the Pulsar and KTM brand, the Indian brand at the lower end and KTM at the premium end compared with that of the entire Pulsar line – up.
The next generation Pulsar motorcycles (200cc, 350 cc and above) will co – exist with the current range of Pulsars. With bigger motorcycles expected from the Japanese competition, experts say this Bajaj – KTM twin strategy should work for the company to cater to different end of the market. We of course, agree with this point here. The alliance between these two companies should be doing wonders for this company in the years to come.
Bajaj said the new motorcycles would help the company increase market share to 30 – 32 per cent, from a market share of 26 per cent as of now, as the market for premium – end motorcycles is expanding at a very rapid pace.
Auto experts say that with a rise in disposable income, the number of buyers will grow, but the segment will continue to be niche as the price bracket exceeds INR 1 lakh.
“The market is growing, yet it forms less than 1 per cent of the overall motorcycle market in the country. The sports bike category will continue to grow in double digits and there will be takers, yet it will form only 1 per cent to 2 per cent of the market and it will be niche category, at least in the medium term,” said Mahantesh Sabarad, auto analyst with Fortune Broking.
Bajaj Auto, which has an export turnover of nearly 6,500 crore with almost 1.5 million vehicles shipped annually sees the similar strategy being played out in the global markets too.
“I think this strategy of KTM-Pulsar acting together in the sports segment is a valid strategy anywhere in the world not just in India. We will look at leveraging this in many of our overseas markets in Latin America, Africa and South East Asia,” said Bajaj.