Workers inspect motorcycles at Bajaj Auto’s plant in Chakan, Maharashtra. (Santosh Verma/Bloomberg)

Bajaj Auto Seeks To Re-‘Discover’ Centre Stage In India’s Bike Market

After a gap of two and a half years, Bajaj Auto Ltd. has once again brought to the fore its Discover brand of motorcycles in a bid to reclaim lost ground in the Indian market.

The company launched the Discover 110 cc at Rs 50,496 ex-showroom Maharashtra and the Discover 125 cc, which has two brake options priced at Rs 53,491 and Rs 56,314 respectively.

These launches, according to Eric Vaz, president of the company’s motorcycle division, are part of a “pivot” by the company to gain market share in what he defines as the “executive segment”, which accounts for half the motorcycle market.

Bajaj Auto, which has a market share of around 20 percent in motorcycle market, has been focusing on entry-level and premium segments for around two and a half years. The shift was necessitated by mistakes in strategy with regard to the Discover brand, he said.

The company had too many variants of its Discover brand, some of which included features that the market was not yet ready for, according to Vaz. The drop in sales that followed resulted in a sharp decline in market share, forcing Bajaj Auto to discontinue all but one of its Discover motorcycles.

The Rajiv Bajaj-led company had been “quietly” selling its Discover 125 cc during this time, without the aid of marketing to bolster sales, Vaz said. Still, it managed to sell an average of 8,000 units of the motorcycle per month, he added.

The next goal is to gain market share in the executive segment. This time, however, Bajaj Auto intends to stick to the two major variants it launched today and does not plan to add more engine capacity options. It aims to more than double its market share in the segment to 15 percent by the same time next year.

If it succeeds, it will manage to push up Bajaj Auto’s motorcycle market share, which currently stands at 20 percent, to 25 percent, Vaz said.