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Bike cos race ahead in the sales game

10-November-2005
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Bike cos race ahead in the sales game

Indian market can baffle many a marketing pundits. But no consumer product category is throwing more surprises than the fast growing motorcycle market. Typically, in a consumer or a lifestyle product, you can either be an entry level player or a premium player with a limited volume. But that's not how things work in the Indian motorcycle market.

Here's a motorcycle maker who is a leader in plain-vanilla entry segment and fully-loaded premium segment, but is struggling to make a mark in the mid-price segment. After five years of sweating it out, Bajaj Auto has managed to attain leadership of the entry and the premium segment, but is miles behind the market leader Hero Honda in the high-volume mid-priced executive segment. For the second year in a row, Bajaj Auto leads in the 100cc entry segment (with CT-100) and 150cc+ premium segment with its Pulsar twins and newly launched Avenger. The price gap between the two opposite ends of the motorcycle market is over Rs 20,000. The middle-class however continues to be enthralled by the Hero Honda executive bikes in the Rs 40,000 price bracket.

According to SIAM figures, during April-September period this year, Bajaj's auto unit's sales in the sub 125cc engine segment grew by 13per cent as against 19.3per cent growth registered by Hero Honda in this category. In the premium 125cc+, Hero Honda's showed a 58per cent decline in sales while Bajaj Auto grew by around two and half times.

The two companies blame the perception on SIAM's classification. “Consumers don't follow SIAM's classifications,while making their purchase decision.

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