Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The 100cc battle

Its a battle that's being fought long and hard. On the one side is Hero Honda that makes a pile of money through its 100cc bikes. On the other side is Bajaj which has, very smartly, after a few bruises decided to literally, "change the game."

The point in contention is whether 100 cc bikes will have a market. They do, as of today and they have for a few years now. And Hero Honda with its entry level CD 100 (whatever) and Splendor (again with a few suffixes) is sitting pretty there. Bajaj has been shouting from the rooftop for a while now that the 100cc market has gone, but Hero Honda has refused to bite and the market, well, it is taking its own time.

Bajaj has upped the ante now by launching a 125 cc bike that gives more mileage than the existing 100 cc bikes and is cheaper. It sure is an interesting battle out there. When it started off Hero Honda was the newcomer and Bajaj was the fuddy-duddy. Bajaj, in the last few years has changed itself so much that it makes Hero Honda appear fuddy-duddy. The jury is still out as to whether the 100cc market will go or stay. In any case that is not really Bajas point; Bajaj wants to wrestle the share of the largest segment of the Indian bike industry. What better way than to 'change the game'?


Anonymous said...

The consumer does not really see this as a 100cc-125cc battle. They view it as more of a brand question - hero honda or bajaj auto? Bajaj has been able to make some good inroads in bikes by playing very aggressive pricing strategy i.e. offering cheaper and cheaper bikes. But hero honda has acquired a reputation for unexciting but very reliable bikes with good "resale value". thats what bajaj is up against, and trying to reposition it as a 100-125cc battle.

Neelakantan said...

And bajaj does not have a great name in resale, not yet.