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Bajaj Auto to replicate Dominar success, lines up more high-powered bikes

Rajiv Bajaj promised ‘lots more action’ in the above Rs 1 lakh segment, which is where the consumer excitement has shifted in the last one year.

March 15, 2017 / 02:14 PM IST
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After the success of Dominar 400 Bajaj Auto is keen to build on the momentum further with new launches planned in the same segment over the next three months.

The Pune-based bike maker, which also makes Pulsar range of premium bikes, has seen an ‘overwhelming’ response for the Dominar 400, despite being the costliest Bajaj motorcycle till date at Rs 1.37 lakh (ex-showroom, Maharashtra).

In an exclusive chat with Moneycontrol Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj promised ‘lots more action’ in the above Rs 1 lakh segment, which is where the consumer excitement has shifted in the last one year.

“We would like to introduce more and more products in the Dominar range, in the Rs 1-2 lakh price range. We have some very active plans for this and in the next 2-3 months we should be able to make some important announcement on this”, said Bajaj.

New additions to this much-valued segment could be through some of the existing brands or it could even be an introduction of an all-new brand like Dominar. Bajaj decided to go for a new brand for the 400cc performance bike after realizing that Pulsar brand has a limited reach and appeal beyond its existing category.

“(New launches) could be in the Dominar brand, KTM brand or it could be a new brand”, added Bajaj.

There has been a meteoric rise in demand for bikes priced in the bracket of Rs 1-3 lakh with as many as 10 manufacturers vying for a piece of the growing pie. According to data supplied by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers 200-500cc bike sales rose by 31 percent during April-December while the entire two-wheeler segment grew by just 6 percent.

Introduced in December 2016 (followed by deliveries in January) the Dominar generated sales of close to 3,300 units in its first full month after launch, which was higher than expectations of the company. Bajaj expects to clock 5,000 units sales this month of the new bike before gradually ramping up to 10,000 units by September this year, which will likely include exports.

The Dominar 400 is sold only in India at the moment but Bajaj has plans to take it to Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and the United Arab Emirates where it will be sold as direct imports from India.

Other brands like V, Avenger and Pulsar will too see action in the coming months in terms of upgrades or new model additions.

“There is going to be action in the existing brands. There will be lots of action this year and next. So definitely the Pulsar and Avenger brands are very important for us and there will be more attention there to increase the business of both the brands,” added Bajaj.

Domestic motorcycle sales of the Pune-based company during April-February grew by 7 percent to 1.84 million units as compared to 1.72 million sold in the same period last year. Bajaj Auto is India’s third largest two-wheeler manufacturer and largest exporter of motorcycles and three-wheelers.
Swaraj Baggonkar
first published: Mar 15, 2017 02:09 pm