Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp Square Up For 2021 BattlePage Visited: 7
Pune-based Bajaj Auto will launch at least two products every three months starting in the ongoing quarter as it looks to push up its domestic market share.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Rakesh Sharma, Executive Director, Bajaj Auto, said: “We have a nice and active (product) pipeline and within this quarter itself you will see us introducing new products. Almost every quarter there will be1-2 introductions. These will be both new models and upgrades”.
While Sharma declined to provide details on product types lined up for launch, sources said Bajaj Auto will build its focus further on the premium segment where it sells the Pulsar, Avenger, Dominar, KTM and Husqvarna range. Bajaj Auto is also the market leader in the premium segment with a share of 38 percent, as of December end.
In response, Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, has promised to have 10 launches every year for the next five years. Premium motorcycles and scooters will have an overarching share in Hero’s launches, accounting for about two-thirds of them.
Till date Hero has been criticised for being overdependent on its bread-and-butter, low-power, high-mileage bikes such as the Splendor, Passion and Dawn. The Delhi-based company commands 65 percent of the economy and executive domestic motorcycle segment.
Despite being one of the earliest to enter the premium segment with products such as Karizma and CBZ, Hero failed to attract buyers and build its presence in the premium segment. The company’s share in the 150cc-250cc segment stood at 6 percent at the end of December 2020, as per data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Even in the scooter segment, Hero failed to stop a rising TVS Motor Company which now occupies the second spot, behind Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India. Hero’s share in the scooter segment stood at 10 percent at the end of December 2020, while TVS’s share was 21 percent and Honda’s was 52 percent.
Other two-wheeler makers are also turning on the heat. Italian premium bike maker Ducati will launch 12 models in 2021 including new models and upgrades. Another Italian brand, Chinese-owned Benelli, intends to launch one new model every month till August.
To support their launch plans for this year and the next few years, both Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto are readying new production capacity.
Bajaj Auto has lined up Rs 650 crore capex to set up a 1-million-unit per annum facility in Chakan, Pune. This new plant, which will produce the KTM, Husqvarna and electric two-wheelers, will take Bajaj’s production capacity to 2.2 million units per annum.
“We are very comfortable as far as capacity is concerned. The issues keep coming in from the vendor side. We have been facing shortages for higher-end bikes and electric. The production capacity of the new Chakan plant is going to be a million units but this is going to be modular,” Sharma added.
Hero MotoCorp had earlier announced its intention of investing Rs 10,000 crore over the next few years, including investments on new manufacturing lines. Its current production capacity stands at 11.6 million units per annum.