It’s a busy day in the news for Bajaj Auto, as the company’s Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj, has been forthright about its product portfolio. Bajaj has confirmed that a Pulsar 125cc is not in the works. He also revealed that the new Pulsar range and the Avenger series will be unveiled in 2020, when the new emission standards are expected to come into effect.
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During the same interview, Rajiv Bajaj hinted that the company is working on a new brand of motorcycles that will compete in the 125cc segment. Bajaj admitted that the decline in sales of the Discover brand in the high-end commuter segment left a big hole in the company’s strategy. Even the V12 did not meet the targets set by the brand. In fact, not a single unit of the V12 was sold in July 2018, while year-on-year sales of the V15 fell 78%.
He also added that there were no plans to expand the Platina range to the 125cc segment as that would dilute the brand. This statement is surprising because a unit of the Bajaj Platina 125 was spotted during road tests in August 2018. The test mule wore a 125 badge on the rear panel and was fitted with a front disc brake.
Speaking of the potential of the 125cc segment, Bajaj said:
We’re running out of mid-segment 125cc, I think it’s around 2.5 lakh of bikes per month. It is not small. If you have a 20 percent share there, that gives you a sizable number. Certainly we are missing a big slice and we have to make up for it with a new brand that we are working on … We are not releasing this segment 125. We are working on a new product and will cover it.
Details are minimal at the moment as Rajiv Bajaj hasn’t spoken much about the new brand of motorcycles.
The current 124.5 cc, four-stroke, air-cooled single-cylinder, SOHC, DTS-i BS-IV single cylinder is tuned to deliver 11 hp of power at 7,500 rpm and 11 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm . With the new emission standards set to come into effect from 2020, Bajaj could release a brand new 125cc motorcycle.
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As sales of the 125cc Bajaj motorcycles plummet, the Honda CB Shine 125cc was the third best-selling motorcycle in the Indian market in fiscal year 2017-18. It was the best-selling 125cc motorcycle in the Indian market in fiscal year 2017-2018, recording annual growth of over 27%.