Healthy demand during the festive period has cleaned up the inventory levels with dealers paving the way for more wholesale volumes in the coming months.
Bajaj Auto, the country’s fourth largest two-wheeler maker, sees a significant upside in its market share by the end of this financial year. Healthy demand during the festive period has cleaned up the inventory levels with dealers paving the way for more wholesale volumes in the coming months.
Eric Vas, president, motorcycle business, Bajaj Auto, spoke about the road ahead to Moneycontrol:
Has the Dominar performed to expectations?
Domestic sales are around 2,000 a month. It takes a little longer in international markets because we send a batch and you receive approvals from the homologation department. Certain markets have opened up for the Dominar. The International Business team is doing about 1,000 bikes a month now and they will keep ramping as new markets keep opening.
Do you see domestic volumes going up?
Yes, we do see it going up. Our objective when we launched the bike is that it should be recognised for what it is. And it must attract the right kind of customer who values this kind of biking experience. The Dominar has attracted the right kind of customer. Now we are at a point where it has reached a certain critical mass in certain towns. It takes time build mass. And I do expect sales to increase considerably as we move forward.
And does the benchmark of achieving sales of 10% of Royal Enfield stay as it was?
Certainly that target in there in our minds. If they are selling 55,000-60,000 a month we have to get 10 percent of that.
When do we see new additions made to the Dominar?
I think it is premature. The 400 is right for Dominar. We don’t have any intention to launch any models under Dominar.
What about the V range? It has not performed as well as Bajaj might have expected...
We are doing good volumes of around 15,000 units (a month) with the V. We are happy with those volumes. Of course we would like to sell more. But we are in no hurry. The bike has earned the reputation of being a very different kind of commuter bike. And that will keep increasing as we move along. It is also true that in the last couple of months we did not spend very much media money on the V.
But V12 volumes are on the lower side.
Customers have demonstrated a very strong preference for the V15. So we are finding that the V15 outselling the V12 by 2.5-3 times. This was unexpected but it is also gratifying that people are upgrading.
Would we see a new addition to the V family by March?
No you won’t. That is not necessary. But you may see a colour graphic change which is an ongoing activity. As of now there is no new model in the offing.
Have exports picked up significantly?
We are expecting exports to go up considering commodity prices and oil prices are going up globally.
What about Bajaj’s market share target in India?
In the domestic market, we closed last month with around 19 percent. We see it headed towards 23-25 percent because we have done very well over this season. We have actually had tremendous retailing far in excess of what we have invoiced to dealers. We have very good momentum going into the third quarter. We need to look what the industry is like but I do expect our market to be around 25 percent. On the back of Pulsar NS200 and NS160 doing very well, Dominar will increase, but that will not make a significant difference.
The third quarter has been slower traditionally. How do you see it this year?Last year there was demonetisation. So with respect to last year, I expect November and December to be better this year.