* Hero Honda has widen the gap from Bajaj in the last six months — in stark contrast to the situation a year ago when it was at an all time low — Bajaj believes that its new platform will do the trick by getting it back in the game. Bajaj said “We are currently doing 165,000-170,000 bikes a month but we will launch a bike based on a new platform by September, which should do 50,000 units a month. This in turn will take us above 200,000 units a month. The new bike will be in the Rs 40,000 price range” . Hero Honda currently does about 230,000 units a month
* Bajaj stormed the Hero Honda by opening up a probiking showroom right next to Hero Honda’s corporate office. Delhi’s high profile Basant Lok area which is well known for Hero Honda’s corporate office where Bajaj opened it exclusive probiking showroom. The area which till yesterday was resplendent with Karizma and CBZ Xtreme posters all around will now get bajaj’s pulsar posters.
* On June 25 Bajaj revealed some information about its small car – Bajaj said it is experimenting with the concept of a small car but said it will not be a cheap car. Bajaj categorically ruled out its concept car being a competitor to the Tata’s Rs 1 lakh car saying: “We are striving to be a good two-wheeler manufacturer and we have no intention of getting into something which we are not capable of… that is manufacturing of cars”. He said the company’s concept small car would be a distinctive product and “it will be more like a Pulsar on four-wheels”. Bajaj small car will be a high technology car being, developed through in-house research and development and seeks to redefine small cars, bajaj added.
* Bajaj said the company was working on the commercial launch of a four-wheel goods carrier by 2009. Bajaj has earmarked Rs 750 crore for a four-wheeler production plant to manufacture 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles annually.The engine, transmission and platform that Bajaj build will be used for its passenger car. Bajaj’s concept car will be showcased in January 2008 at the annual Auto Expo and Bajaj will take three years to go in for commercial production. Bajaj plans to price its first car between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.
* Bajaj Auto introduced its 220 cc motorcycle Pulsar DTS Fi model priced at Rs 81,280 (ex-showroom Delhi) and also opened its first ‘probiking’ showroom in Delhi. The dispatches of pulsar 220cc DTSi-FI have already started for all-India launch of the bike, after it was initially test marketed in Pune earlier this year.
* As global bike-makers will be seen competing in the niche 800cc and above segment. (Yamaha India on its own has plans to launch its MT01 and 998 cc YZF-R1. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India is looking at importing models like CBR 1000 and GLX 1800. Suzuki Motorcycle & Scooter India might vroom in the 749-cc GSX-R750) Bajaj Auto is also looking at foraying in the big bike segment with an overseas partner. Bajaj Auto (BAL) MD Rajiv Bajaj told “Certainly, we wish to participate in the 800 cc and above segment. We are in talks with Yamaha. We are looking at other overseas partners but I can’t reveal my plans yet.” Bajaj is already in talks with Yamaha for a possible tie-up in this category. Japanese bike maker Yamaha had first initiated talks with Bajaj in November last year. Yamaha’s global team led by Yamaha Japan president Takashi Kajikawa had visited Bajaj’s facilities and had talks with the companies. The two bike majors might join hands for making co-badged bikes for the higher segments both for the domestic and export markets. Bajaj is also considering entering the segment under its existing collaboration with Kawasaki.
* Bajaj had exported 4.24 lakh units in 2006-07, which translated into revenues of Rs 1,700 crore. Bajaj expects to export six lakh units this fiscal, which should add about Rs 2,500 crore to its topline.
* Bajaj is also reworking its ‘Hamara Bajaj’ advertising campaign. It will soon unveil a new commercial with the tag line, “Alag andaaz, alag hai khoj, rakhe aage, hamari soch” that loosely translates as: “A different style, a different search will keep us ahead”.