Bajaj Auto TV advertisements are considered to be among the best in India. Initially during the launch of the Bajaj Pulsar 150 and 180, a ‘Definitely Male’ campaign was done. This pitted the Pulsar as a muscular, rugged Man-Bike. This ad campaign was immensely successful. After the launch of the DTSi models the ‘Definitely Male’ campaign was replaced by the ‘Digital Biking’ campaign. At the launch of the 220 Fi model the ad campaign switched over to ‘Distinctly Ahead’ with the return of a Hard Rock rendition of the iconic ‘Hamara Bajaj’ jingle.
The P 200 was couple with a ‘Free Biking’ ad which started off the Stunting Image of the Bajaj Pulsars. Soon After the ‘Stunt Mania’ ad kicked off starring famous stunt-bikers AC Farias and Chris Pfeiffer and a ‘Pulsar Stuntmaniacs’ which portrayed an array of pulsars doing stunt work similar to a ballet and a hip hop respectively. Next ‘The Fastest Indian’ Ad was accompanied with the Launch of the P 220 F. The latest ad takes on the Japanese Manufactures with the ‘Hunto’ Ad campaign. Additionally Bajaj sponsors shows like the ‘Pulsar MTV Stuntmania’, Stuntbiking teams like the ‘Ghost Ryders’ and ‘Stunt maniacs’, sponsoring rock concerts and stunt stows all over the country and sponsoring adventure tours to destinations like Leh, Ladakh, etc.
Place: Bajaj has more than 700 dealers in India which sell all Pulsar models up to the P 180 CC. And Bajaj has over 40 separate Pro biking show rooms which sell the Pulsar 200 NS and Pulsar 220 F along with Kawasaki Ninja, KTM Duke 200 and Bajaj Avenger, hence equating the bike’s image with respected European and Japanese heavyweights. Apart from that Bajaj has more than 1800 urban service centers and 1400 rural service centers.
The service centers are both company operated and dealer operated. Automobile sales in March 2012 ended on a high note with a few two wheeler OEMs hitting all-time high sales volumes. Although the demand has been considerably high throughout the year, a certain amount of moderation is seen in the sector. Segment-wise Bajaj sold 300,848 units of motorcycles in the period up 10 per cent from 274,392 sold in the corresponding period of last year. Additionally, The Pulsar created history by recording a sale of 5 million pulsars since its inception around one year back. Overall Honda overtakes Bajaj in domestic 2 wheeler sales and emerges as the second-largest player in the country’s two-wheeler market. Though the Pulsar and the Discover sales fared very well, Baja had a weak stance in the 100-125 CC category.
Bajaj had a 25.5 percent market share, a volume growth of 9.4 % growth from the last period. Bajaj is counting on increase in motorcycle sales for continuing its market stand. Its exit from scooter category is questionable and its weak presence in 100-125 cc has been Bajaj Auto’s biggest pain point. But it is still confident with its dominance in executive/performance bikes segment. It recently launched KTM Duke 200 and Pulsar 200 NS to expand its product range in the category. With Duke coming in; it surely has a strong product in hand to compete against the R15’s and the CBR’s. But Milind Bade, GM (Marketing, Bajaj) says that Bajaj is not mindlessly running after Volumes. Rather they are concentrating on just the middle and the top end market (i.e. Discover and Pulsar). So all the marketing will be directed towards the Discover and Pulsar Brands and a rebranding will be done.
Rahul Bajaj has already confirmed the launch of the KTM Duke 390 in 2013. A similarly powered Pulsar is also expected to be launched around the same time. Hyosung has already launched its 600 CC and 250 CC bikes in India. Yamaha is planning to bring it higher powered Fazers and Rs into India. Honda is also bringing in its CBR superbikes in late 2012 and early 2013. Though the P 350 will be severely underpowered to take on these models but would provide a cheaper replacement for the urban middle class.
After a splendid run in 2011, the motorcycle sales have been wobbly since Q4 2011 onwards. The passenger vehicle segment grew marginally at 0.49% year on year during April-December 2011. The future prospects doesn’t seem to sunny due to the current economic downturns. So the key is to focus on the high end market which is a niche and doesn’t seem to be too much affected. Earlier the motorcycle industry growth was projected at 14% per annum. Now a realistic projection will be an 8% growth.
After three years of above trend growth, two-wheeler growth is moderating. Analysis over the past 20 years suggests that it is unlikely that growth will enter negative territory, but mid-single digit growth for a couple of years cannot be ruled out. Rural India, which accounts for almost 50% of the overall sales of the two wheeler industry, may play the role of wrecker-in-chief as rural income and the farm sector increasingly come under strain due to limited policy support and rising default risk on agri credit. Hero Moto Corp and TVS will take a major hit in these markets. So Bajaj has to tap on that.