Companies

Bajaj Auto revs up Discover models to take on Hero

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on October 20, 2013

K. Srinivas, President (Motorcycle Business)   -  PTI

K Srinivas   -  Business Line

K Srinivas believes the Discover 100M has the potential to be a game changer for Bajaj Auto. The President (Motorcycle Business) unveiled the bike in Pune last week.

The Discover 100M is the fourth model to roll out from the new platform after the 125ST, 100T and 125T. These three bikes are clocking combined sales of around 45,000 units each month.

Along with their older Discover siblings, total monthly sales of this brand total a little over one lakh units. Yet, it is the 100M that Srinivas is betting on for the real big numbers as it will take on Hero MotoCorp’s top-selling Splendor and Passion brands.

The script is all-too familiar for Bajaj Auto when it first threw down the gauntlet with the Discover 100 four years ago. The move helped the company finally clock up good volumes in the commuter segment. Yet, Hero MotoCorp continues to be the leader even after parting ways with Honda.

Srinivas, however, is not deterred. “The 100cc (Discover) in 2009 was the beginning of our comeback strategy. Today’s all-new Discover is a much stronger product with greater brand clarity from our end,” he told Business Line.

It is the mileage association that is the biggest draw for Hero’s buyer base. This clearly means that its rivals will have to think of something more to make a difference. “This is precisely what we are doing with the new Discover series. There is a far better defined approach from us now,” says Srinivas.

He is only too aware that the big numbers can be realised in this segment which, therefore, makes the 100M Bajaj Auto’s most important launch in recent times. The 100T, which made its debut some months ago, has been positioned as the best in its class while the 125cc Discover duo is part of the premium segment.

“Today, mileage is a given and challengers like Bajaj Auto need to do something more. That is why we are making a statement with speed, power and extra features,” says Srinivas.

From Bajaj Auto’s point of view, the last four years have been a tremendous learning experience with the Discover. The new platform has taken the script to the next level of technology development which the company hopes will do the trick with a younger and more demanding generation of bike riders.

The commuter segment accounts for 85 per cent of bike sales in India with the sports category (dominated by the Pulsar) taking up the balance.

Within this 85 per cent space, the entry 100cc segment (Platina, Hero’s CD and TVS Motor’s Star City) takes up 22 per cent while the top-end premium 125cc (Honda Shine, Hero Glamour/Super Splendor and the Discover) is 18 per cent.

It is the balance 45 per cent value segment where the Splendor and Passion literally rule the roost. The recently launched Discover 100M is part of this product category which has also seen rival models like the Dream Yuga and Neo from Hero’s former ally, Honda.

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Published on October 20, 2013
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