Year 2012 was lacklustre for the two-wheeler industry. Bajaj Auto's managing director Rajiv Bajaj expects growth in 2013 to be flat too.
Speaking exclusively with CNBC-TV18's Sunanda Jayaseelan, he also said that he expects to start exporting the Discover 100T only later this year. This premium 100 CC bike was launched at a price of Rs 50,500.
He further said the exports are doing quite well. "We had a difficult time between April and September because we faced various issues in some of our big export markets like Sri Lanka and Egypt and some of the other African markets," he adds.
Fortunately, he says, everything is stable for now. "But we are still anxious because we have to watch how things develop every month. There is so much trouble in global economies. In terms of exports, I am afraid this is one product that will not go to exports for sometime because it enters the 100 CC segment in India, which is still 65 percent of the motorcycle industry," he elaborates.
He believes that the market sentiment started deteriorating in January last year. "We saw visible signs of that maybe from April or May 2012. Except for a brief period, during the festive season in October-November, it has been pretty lacklustre," he adds.
December, he says, has not been very encouraging. "From our point of view, December retail sales have been pretty flat compared to last year. So, on the one hand, we are grateful that we are not in the negative zone. The market is still large at 800,000 bikes a month. That is good in terms of our profitability. But in terms of growth, there is no growth there in the market right now," he asserts.