Launches Discover 100T at Rs 50,500

Bajaj Auto is focusing on a ‘differentiator’ strategy to take on Hero MotoCorp and Honda in the premium commuter motorcycle segment.

As part of this effort, the company has launched the Discover 100T at an ex-showroom (Delhi) price tag of Rs 50,500 to compete with Honda’s Dream Yuga and Hero’s Passion brands.

Bajaj Auto’s share in the overall 100cc commuter segment is 20 per cent and is targeting the fast growing premium-end to bolster its presence. “Our strategy will have to be one of differentiation. The answer eventually lies in technology and sharp positioning,” Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, said at the company’s corporate headquarters on Monday.

As a result, the Discover 100T (for Tourer) comes with a four-valve DTS-i engine and generates 10.2 Ps power, nearly 30 per cent more than other 100cc bikes. It has a 5-speed gearbox and delivers mileage of 87 kmpl.

“The idea is to give the 100cc at the power of a 125cc with the mileage advantage,” said K. Srinivas, President (Motorcycles). The 100T will focus on the domestic market over the next four months before it hits the exports lane from June.

In mid-2009, Bajaj Auto had launched the Discover 100 to build its presence in the commuter segment which accounts for overall monthly sales of nearly six lakh bikes. It was positioned to take on the Splendor while the (Discover) 100T has moved many notches higher towards the premium end of this segment.

“The Discover 100 in 2009 was the best thing we could offer then as we did not have the ability to innovate at that cost,” Bajaj said.

The 100T, in contrast, has been launched after the successful showing of the Discover brand over the last three years where monthly sales are close to 1.5 lakh units. It is also the leader in the 125cc commuter segment with a 32 per cent share.

Premium commuter bikes take up a fourth of sales in the overall 100cc segment, while nearly 45 per cent comes from the mid-slot where the Splendor rules the roost.

The balance is generated from the entry-level 100cc (Hero CD, Bajaj Platina and TVS Star).

Reiterating that “novelty breeds desire”, Bajaj said the company would only chase demand and not growth. This year will also see bigger Pulsars and Discovers being launched.

He added that the accompanying bells and whistles were fine for a segment market leader like the Pulsar but would not work in the commuter segment where it is a challenger.

(This article was published on January 7, 2013)
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