The company has a stranglehold at the top-end of the commuter motorcycle market. Its strong presence in the 150cc and above segment can be attributed to its Pulsar brand. The latest Pulsar model saw itself in a fully-faired avatar – the RS 200 – equipped with modern tech, including Bajaj’s triple-spark ignition system. The Pulsar RS 200 highlighted buyer preference for ABS as a safety feature in the price range of above ₹1 lakh. Currently, the Pulsar brand slots in the engine displacement bandwidth of single-cylinder, 135cc to 220cc.
However, in the past 18-20 months, the company has consolidated the Avenger brand and has created two new ones, namely V and Dominar. Bajaj has positioned the Bajaj V across 125cc and 150cc commuter bands, while the Dominar 400, its most recent model, now sits at the top of the entire portfolio as a premium entry-level midsize motorcycle for the city and the highway.
All three brands are performing well for the company. According to SIAM data, while the company has sold 205,002 units under the Bajaj V umbrella, it has also retailed an impressive 179,791 units of Bajaj Avengers between April 2016 and January 2017. Together, both brands have sold 384,793 units during the first 10 months of the ongoing fiscal.
Nevertheless, the potency of the Bajaj Pulsar brand continues to be incontestable in its segment. The company has sold 476,409 units under brand Pulsar during the aforementioned 10-month period of FY17. The nearest rival, TVS Motor’s Apache brand (150cc-200cc), has reported cumulative sales of 256,328 units during the same period.
The Pulsar brand is estimated to contribute to the tune of more than 25 percent of Bajaj Auto’s FY17 domestic volumes, which are, as per the market estimates, expected to cross the two-million unit milestone this fiscal.
Eric Vas, president – motorcycle business, Bajaj Auto stated, “Pulsar remains to be an iconic brand for us. All iconic brands evolve. They evolve around cubic capacity, style, applications and many other parameters. Honestly, we don’t look at it in terms of such a tight bandwidth of cubic capacity. We look at a type of customer and ask ourselves, ‘What does this customer want?’ We try to solve that. So, the Pulsars will keep evolving. I don’t want to say that it will never go beyond 220cc, if we will see a need to put a 300cc, we will do so. But it will only evolve with its customer base.”