Bajaj Auto claims it has dethroned the Japanese manufacturers in the ‘super sports’ motorcycle segment and has gained market share over the last two years. Bajaj competes with Japanese brands Yamaha and Honda in the segment and it claims KTM and Pulsar RS 200 have together sped ahead in this race.
Japanese brand Kawasaki has a long standing relationship with Bajaj Auto and operates out of its Akurdi plant so it is not viewed as a competition by the company. The top end of the market is a niche segment and sells around 32,000 units a month in the country. Bajaj said that their market share in the super sports segment has gone up from 10% in June 2013 to 59% in May 2015. The company defines super sports bikes as high-end bikes priced at R1 lakh and above. Bajaj’s growth was largely riding on the sales of KTM bikes and the new Pulsar RS 200.
For every motorcycle sold by a Japanese player, Bajaj Auto sells two, the company had said in an investor presentation. According to an investor presentation in December 2014, the KTM bikes enjoyed a 46% market share by volume in the sports segment while the Yamaha R15 had a 31% share followed by Honda CBR at 23%. At its peak, the Yamaha R15 had a 57% market share while Honda CBR had peaked at a 38% market share. KTM started with a 16% market share and went up to 38%. These market share figure were based on volumes between Q1FY13 and November 2014.
In the 250cc to 500cc bikes, priced between R1.75 lakh and R2.5 lakh, KTM had a 53% share. As of now, only Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson are ahead of Bajaj Auto in certain segments of this upper end of the market. In the top end market for bikes above the R2.5 lakh range, Harley Davidson led with a 62% market share followed by Kawasaki which had an 18% market share. Royal Enfield had a 84% share in the R1 lakh to R1.75 lakh (150cc to 500cc) bracket.
Bajaj Auto says that it has not only rapidly gained leadership in the segment but also helped the Super Sports segment grow by 50%.
Eric Vas, president, motorcycle business, said the new Pulsar RS 200 has met with a phenomenal response and within three months of the launch, it clocked over 7,000 bookings and has a two-month waiting period.