Usual festive buzz missing this year, says Rajiv Bajaj

Written by fe Bureau | Pune | Updated: Oct 17 2014, 16:48pm hrs
Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj said his company and the two-wheeler industry were looking at a somewhat lukewarm festive seasson this year. Unfortunately so far not much to cheer as far as the motorcycle industry is concerned this festival season, Bajaj told a business news channel on Thursday. If I compare sales through the Navratras including Dussehra with the similar period of last year, we have had a mild positive and the industry is quite flat or at best just a wee bit positive, Bajaj said.

Bajaj Auto finished the last financial year with a 20% market share, but it fell to 15% in July 2014. Bajaj has projected that his company will recover lost market share while maintaining 20% Ebitda by June 2015. He admitted that during the second quarter of FY15, the company underperformed the industry a little in terms of Pulsars numbers, but added it was because of stock correction and it has regained its market share of 45-46% in September, which is close to a two-year high. The new Pulsar has been well received and the company expects to sell 60,000-65,000 units per month.

Bajaj introduced the new Discover in July 2014, and it has sold 50,000 units in the first two months. The Bajaj MD believes he has hit a sweet spot with the Disccover 150cc. He estimates the company could be selling 20,000-30,000 units of the Discover a month. The premium KTM bike is now doing 6,000-7,000 units a month.

He told the channel that the days of 15-17% share in the domestic market are over and they are now in the neighbourhood of 20% again. Bajaj added that he wanted to get back to 25%, where Bajaj Auto used to be till 18 months ago.

Bajaj conceded there was no point chasing the scooter segment in the domestic market, where Honda is strong. But, in the motorcycle space, he plans to go all out.