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Old 2nd March 2015, 09:54   #1
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Default Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Rajiv Bajaj, commanding the Bajaj ship, has now become well known for steering it in strange ways. From his now infamous statement that Bajaj will exit the 100 cc segment and make the 125 cc the new 100 cc to launching a slew of Discover models with 5-10 cc increments in the cubic capacity of engines Bajaj has been really confusing customers. He talked of three platforms, Pulsar, Discover and Boxer which would be the mainstay of the company and that products will be launched under these brands. The Bajaj Boxer BM 150 did not sell and that put paid to the Boxer platform for India. The Boxer designation is used only for export to African countries.

Intriguingly Bajaj is launching all the new Pulsar variants in countries like Turkey and Philippines but not doing much in India. The fully faired versions have so many dents, bumps, crests etc that the fairing looks as if the plastic has been boiled in hot water before putting it on the bike. The Platina was recently given a facelift which even Sherlock Holmes would find difficult to identify (the difference between the pre-facelift and the facelift that is).

And now what can only be construed as stunning or stupefying Bajaj has relaunched the CT-100 (which began life as the Boxer CT-!00 before the Boxer nomenclature was dropped) and was dropped from the market in 2006, with the only changes being the stickers and decals. It comes in two variations, with wire wheels and alloys. The wire wheeled version will retail for about 35,000+ rupees while the alloy wheeled one will retail for 38,000+. It is now being said that this model is only for tier III cities and will be placed below the Platina. Like the Platina this motorcycle also carries the 99.7 cc Kawasaki designed engine from the 4S. Obviously Bajaj is concerned about being overtaken by all companies and so the desperate measures.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 13:35   #2
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Well, I stopped paying attention to whatever Rajiv Bajaj speaks to the media. He ( or whoever scripts his interviews ) really makes no sense.

Think of these lines -
" We will move out of the 100 cc segment "
-And now they are back into the segment!

" We will have three sub brands - Boxer, catering to rural markets. Discover, catering to the value conscious customer. Pulsar, for the image conscious and sporty youth. "
- Where does the Platina sit boss?

Before unveiling the four wheeler 7 yrs ago at the 2008 Indian Auto Show " This vehicle will be like a Pulsar on four wheels, and will offer good value for money, will be put to production soon "
* Sees the Nano with much better styling * and makes comments that Nano might not be very safe.

Comes to 2012 Auto show with a quadricycle RE 60 !
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Old 2nd March 2015, 16:28   #3
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

It doesn't seem too baffling to me, here’s why -

Bajaj lost considerable market share in 75-110-125 cc motorcycle segment last year. Thanks to Hero's splendour-passion range and Honda's Dream series. Considering the gigantic volume of this segment, this loss of share translates to a lot

The Pulsars and Dukes make Bajaj the segment leader and they are pretty much holding their fort in times to come.

So while Bajaj is pumping in money to build new Pulsars, they do want their share back in small capacity segments without spending much. So here comes the CT 100.
Clearly their focus is on big bikes and they don’t want to spend a lot here so they just took out a complete bike from old days, did some sticker-ing (like Hero) job and launched it real cheap.

The target itself is the bottom end, Tier 3 cities and villages. I don't think the target audience will really think twice about how old the platform is as long as the bike is easy to own and maintain. If they did, ages old Splendour and its 97 cc engine won’t be selling in huge, really huge numbers with new stickers and different names.

So in essence, the 75-110 cc and 110-125 cc are two problem areas, Bajaj already has number of Discovers in 110+ cc range trying to work it out, whereas it lacked offering below 110 cc. Launching a bike below 100 cc is logical and doing it with CT100 makes it super cheap too.

Looking at the larger picture, the mean displacement of motorcycles is shifting over the years. People are increasingly adopting / upgrading to bikes with higher displacement, the mean displacement today of around 115cc is a proof to the fact. Even Honda’s line-up starts at 110cc, so I don’t think Bajaj is completely wrong if they don’t have a 100cc bike in their long term strategy. This launch IMO is nothing more than a little gamble. CT100 will sell or not is a different story, but it’s a step where Bajaj has almost nothing to lose.
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Old 2nd March 2015, 20:01   #4
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

This move may be surprising, but it seems inevitable. Bajaj has gradually tried to move away from 100cc bikes and even tried to bump things up by offering the XCD 125 which tanked. Even at the launch of the Discover 150F, Rajiv Bajaj said that the Platina will continue to be sold, but not promoted as much as the bigger models. Bajaj has brought in the CT 100, but it doesn't look like the brand will look at promoting it much.

The CT 100 hasn't received any mechanical updates and it looks like Bajaj has simply realized that the segment is still important even today. I wonder if they will go through with a formal launch. Dealers are already quoting prices and the report by IAB even says that deliveries have begun, but the CT 100 isn't even featured on the website.

Bajaj's statements are really tough to believe anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if we got to see a gearless scooter as well.

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Old 2nd March 2015, 22:56   #5
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Looks like the same team working for Hero Honda (Now Hero Motor corp) has been hired by Bajaj!

Add a few stickers here and there add + or M or ES and there you have a new bike
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Old 3rd March 2015, 13:09   #6
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Bajaj CT 100 was one of the best bikes of the yore ( considering FE & ORP)
It thrived in the rural segment with its crude engine.
If Bajaj is re-launching this bike, then I am sure they must have done big calculations to deliver a refined engine.
How I wish , the company renames the bike as BOXER

Last edited by GTO : 3rd March 2015 at 15:39. Reason: Typo
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Old 3rd March 2015, 19:06   #7
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

They're desperate, no doubt. Looks like they did a bit of homework and discontinued the excess bulk of motorcycles. That's why you only see three discovers-100M, 125M and 150 S/F. Gone are the 100T, 125T and 125ST.

There's no real reason why they must launch the CT100, especially because they've revived the platina.

Also, the sales of scooters are surging ahead, it's time for Bajaj to focus on scooters. And they better produce some damn good ones.

DTS-i scooters anyone?

Last edited by D4D : 3rd March 2015 at 19:08.
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Old 4th March 2015, 03:23   #8
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Originally Posted by D4D View Post
DTS-i scooters anyone?
With the little experience I have with the Wave DTSi and the prolonged use of Activa, I must say Wave was awesome to ride. The power delivery from the smooth engine just blew me away. I sure miss the experience when I fire up my Activa. I really can't comment on the reliability issues as I didn't own one. Also the Wave I rode quite a few times was fairly new, but then so is my Activa.
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Old 4th March 2015, 10:49   #9
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

They are behaving like a typical LALA company now. No long term strategic perspective. Just dancing along with the market dynamics on a daily basis. Tomorrow I would not be surprised if they launch a Pulsar branded auto rickshaw with fancy decals doing wheelies on their TVC.

They should learn a thing or two from HMSIL. They carefully observe the market for atleast a year or two before launching a new product. Case in point the new Unicorn. Even before withdrawing a product from the market, they give it sufficient time in the market before taking the call.
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Old 4th March 2015, 11:30   #10
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100


Think prior to acting. And involve more/other guys in firming up your strategy as it simply is not working out the way you think it should.

Look at where your market share was prior to the advent of Pulsars, just after it [2002-2004], in the middle [2008-2010] and now. I do not have the statistics but there are very few repeat customers of your brand & believe me, there are good reasons for it.

Start right from Discover 125, launched in 2004 (my cousin has it with some 90K on odo), it was a good Motorcycle despite few quirks, but really do not know what made you drop it & re launch it a couple of times, but the mojo was lost.

That bike had good performance, decent fuel economy. The bike was good in parts but did well.

And then, you started launching XCD's ST's faired discovers, Pulsar below 150cc, killed scooter, slaughtered your CT-100.

Product innovation/upgradation is good, but think about the future, do your R&D based on that and then launch a product.

Why is the sales of Honda Unicorn 150 stable? R15 & FZ's are still selling in good nos.

Look where Activa is? And I know you guys wouldn't be even looking at the Splendor/Passion figures. Market of these 100cc econo commuters is so good that despite launches from various manufacturers, its position is yet to be dethroned. There should be some good reason...no? The recent launches by Honda is good, but the game has moved on at places & at places it is stuck at Splendor/Passion & will continue there for at least the next 5 years.

What was wrong with Pulsar-200? Why launch a bike with a 20cc difference or 30? P-150/180/200/220?

Mr. Bajaj at places appears like a certain Mr. Gandhi. Good to hear, but that is it.

I for one always thought the Hero after its divorce from Honda would start losing market share. The partner too is Buell. Compare Buell's market share with KTM & Kawasaki.

Your product portfolio in my books should read as

# CT-100/Platina
# Discover 125
# Pulsar 150
# Pulsar 200 or 220, either

And a scooter or two. Nothing more at the moment. Concentrate as to why your valves get fried in less number of kilometers compared to competition. Why do I need chain tightening every week? In all honesty (putting my hand on my heart) all other bikes I owned, didn't need chain tightening at all, for the odd 15,000 kms I rode them. Save for Karizma, but it never bothered, despite an uncovered chain.

Focus on quality. Why launch a fuel injected bike with all hoopla at Rs. 90,000 and put your tail between your legs and launch a carb version later. Yes, Apache RTR FI, you are remembered here as well.

Your views might be different

Last edited by n_aditya : 4th March 2015 at 15:49. Reason: edited as requested. thanks for the RP
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Old 4th March 2015, 11:49   #11
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

The only company that has products with the following capacity.

160cc (I remember reading some new bike with this 160cc capacity)

It seems for all the possible iterations while making the cast of an engine, they have a shell to put that engine into. 9 engines in a span of 100-220cc (their individual versions notwithstanding). I hope someone brings this to the notice of Limca book of records!
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Old 4th March 2015, 12:52   #12
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Dear all - first of all, a smiley is called for, so here goes! .

My take on Bajaj Auto products is not very good, please read:

MH01K3700, my 1995 model black Bajaj Sunny 50cc: I bought it brand new in 1995 for 14000 rupees. It would start if and when it felt like it, but only after 50 kicks or more. The front drum torque control bracket came off so all the front cables broke and in turn they broke the front mudguard. It spent more time in the Mumbai dealer workshop than it spent in my house, so I got cheesed off and sold it to the Mumbai dealer's mechanic for 7000 rupees a year later. Funny thing was, the guy who headed this project in Bajaj Auto R&D became my boss after a couple of years in the company where I worked and when I asked him, he had absolutely no ghost of an explanation on the vehicle's misbehavior. I passively decided to stay away from Bajaj Auto products. I lost half of my money which I did not forget.

MH01RA2633, my 2004 model blue Bajaj Pulsar 150cc: Not learning from my previous experience, I again made the same mistake and bought a carefully used, sparingly driven Pulsar in 2008. I faced the same problem. It would start if and when it felt like it and not when I thumbed the starter motor button. I took it to the Nasik dealer (I had bought it for the occasional evening drive in Nasik as I worked there at that time) and except for giving me tea, with all his good intentions (I don't blame him), he tried a "tune-up" but it did not work. So I sold it in 2009 to a local mechanic in Nasik for half the price. Good riddance! Like a confirmed moron, I again lost half of my money which I did not forget.

Both my above paragraphs are real "customer experiences", but apart from becoming statistics in two rows of an excel file (if at all) and except for small talk which would go like this "Sir, we have informed area office Sir, Sir, Mumbai customer is under control Sir", (if at all), I don't think anything further would have happened, or absolutely nothing would have happened.

The result is there for all of us to read in this thread. All your comments clearly indicate lack of "real product focus"! If at all the company guys who matter read this, they will forward it to somebody who will rubbish this whole thread as utter nonsense as they will have presentations galore to prove otherwise to their management. However, all this prentnse of normality does not change the reality. It happens all the time, it's sad!

I hope they improve, for which they have to completely overhaul the way they think and come out of the presentation mode, otherwise the Japs are in any case laughing all the way to the bank!

The Japs do it slowly, surely and correctly because they first make the products which really work out there! Then they do serious business. They very well know the penchant of the indian businessmen for presentations and they take full advantage of it. .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 4th March 2015 at 12:56.
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Old 4th March 2015, 15:46   #13
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

I'll take Bajaj seriously the day the stop launching a "new" Discover every week.

@Bajaj: Consolidate your product line to a minimal number of offerings, make them reliable, and establish a good brand recall and name in the market.
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Old 5th March 2015, 11:50   #14
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Originally Posted by Rugged View Post
How I wish , the company renames the bike as BOXER
Same here, especially I wish for the rugged Boxer AT, advertised back then at Rs. 29990/- which would come up to 33K in 2002. If we look at the CT current version which in spoke version is priced at 35K, and on-road may cost 40K. This is not very differently priced from the Boxer CT back then which was priced at 37K. Overall, they may even bring back the Caliber saying that it has huge fan following, and then the Wind125 too since Platina has much of parts sharing with it. Once all these relaunches fail, we may be back to XCD too. The only strategy which Bajaj is following is no strategy and that there is absolutely no long term plan.
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Old 5th March 2015, 16:22   #15
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Default Re: Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100

Well "Hamara Bajaj" does look confused and clueless on the market dynamics.

It is the same company that set performance motorcycle segment rolling with Pulsars; registered technology patents like DTSi, SNS (and sued TVS for launching Flame with 2 spark plugs); had good brand recall on Chetak, Priya, Caliber, M80, Sunny; tried hard to sway aam janata away from 100cc Splendors; miserably failed in gearless scooter segment etc etc

Well what I feel is Rajiv Bajaj adopted the opposite approach as that of Hero's. Hero launches new motorcycle with the same engine (our national 2 wheeler engine 97.2cc). I mean just look at their current line up Splendor+, Splendor PRO, Splendor iSmart, Splendor PRO Classic, Passion+, Passion PRO, Passion PRO TR, HF Dawn, HF Deluxe, HF Deluxe ECO. 10 bikes with the same engine and different name!

So Rajiv comes up with innovation. New bike, Same name, different engine. He starts then - Discover 125, Discover 135, Discover 150, Discover 100M, Discover 100T, Discover 125ST, Pulsar 135, Pulsar 150, Pulsar 180, Pulsar 200, Pulsar 220, Pulsar 200 NS, Pulsar 200SS, Pulsar 200 AS etc etc.

What the heck?

Rajiv please amalgamate all Discovers and come up with one best Discover! He wants to give economy, style, performance under every brand. So we have Discover 100, 125, 135, 150.

If a person wants an economy bike he will buy Boxer/Platina. Upgrade then Discover. Performance then Pulsar. Why the heck Discover has to present everywhere? Same with Pulsar and Platina?

I feel Bajaj seriously lacks market research. And Rajiv is living in fool's paradise who feels these moves are seen by market as "so innovative" "something different" "so non Hero" "Wow" thing. They are launching bikes according to their whims and fancies. I am sure even Rajiv doesn't remember which bike doesn't comes in what CC.

Soon bajaj will have design your engine's CC contest. You code in CC of your choice say xyz and Discover xyz is ready! Add cladding then it's Discover xyz SS! Semi cladding then Discover xyz AS!

I am sure soon Bajaj will be no more in performance segment as well. They are absent in gearless scooter, poor presence in entry level motorcycles.

And Honda will make sure they disappear with their Pulsars.

Suzuki/Yamaha did launch products which failed - Hayate, Sling shot, GS 150, Heat, Crux, Libero but then look at the come back - Access, Gixxer, FZ, R15.

And Honda has hardly a failed product. That's brilliance. Being junior to Bajaj in Indian market, they have left Bajaj behind biting dust.

Where are you Bajaj? And what are you coming back with? Discover 400/450/500/550?
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