Thursday, October 12, 2006

2nd coming: Bajaj to ride scooters again

Hamara Bajaj is riding back in time, literally. Come January 2007, Bajaj Auto will step into the domestic scooter market, marking its re-entry into a segment it exited this April.

Bajaj will re-enter with an ungeared model Kristal that's targetted at the college crowd. This will be followed by Blade, a model positioned to attract the new-age male audience.

Bajaj, once the country's largest scooter maker, had discontinued its geared scooter brands this April after ringng dowen curtains on two of the oldest standing brand — Chetak and Super.

It had completely exited the scooter market around June by discontinuing production of its new-age non-geared model Wave.

"The new models have been designed with changing market dynamics and customer preferences in mind. These moels will mark Bajaj's re-entry into a segment where it was once a leader," a company official said.

"The market for non-geared scooters has been on a rise. With these models appealing to both the college-goer and the middle-aged executive, we will be able to target this high-growth market again," the official added.

Kristal and Blade ride on Bajaj's Digital Twin Spark Ignition (DTS-i) technology. The scooter market in India had witnessed an erosion in demand with the tightening of emission norms and a sudden shift in consumer preference towards more macho motorcycles.

This had forced Bajaj Auto to reinvent its product portfolio — which had a large concentration of scooters — and move into predominantly bike manufacturing.

Source:- Times Of India