Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th March 2015, 17:09   #16
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 619
Thanked: 780 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Rahul Bajaj truly missed (err, abandoned) the boat on this one, eh? I remember Rajiv Bajaj's public disagreement with the company leaving the scooter segment behind.

Senior Bajaj was definitely right on this one.
Rahul Bajaj is the Senior Bajaj here... and it was Rajiv (the Son) who had abandoned scooters few years back.


Regarding the comeback: Why Not? If one has to eat one's words.. so be it.

[1] But the product has to be automatic, Period. Nobody wants to change gears in crowded, bumper to bumper traffic.

[2] Also the product needs to be at Par (if not better) than the Japanese likes of Activa/Access (Honda/Suzuki) in quality/durability/reliability.

[3] Going retro (Chetak) is a option.. but the styling really has to tug the hearts, yet be modern enough.
payeng is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 17:35   #17
BHPian
 
PrideRed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: BLR/PTR
Posts: 850
Thanked: 1,235 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
What next? Premier relaunching the Padmini?

I agree with GTO that Bajaj needs to get back into the scooter segment but the market has moved on. Vespa has the retro look nailed but how many scooters do they sell compared to Honda and TVS? Bajaj needs to look at the market in a new way and not sell old wine in an old bottle!
Things move like a rotating wheel. What goes comes back. Take for instance Aviator glasses, metal strap watches to name it a few. I am of the opinion that retro is a in thing and is the new niche.

Vespa doesn't sell because it way too costly compared to Honda/TVS. Had it been priced even at a 5K premium i would have had bought that beauty over a Honda my eyes shut. But despite it being so expensive,sells in decent numbers is a clear indicator that there is good market for retro. Well but have to admit that a complete retro is absolute no no, a retro looking product with modern technology is definitely going to sell.
PrideRed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 17:43   #18
BHPian
 
Mafia's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: BLR MCT
Posts: 427
Thanked: 50 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
Why automatic? The fun essence of the Chetak will be missing here, I know some of you will agree with me on this.

But what kind of strategy is this by Bajaj anyway, flooding the market with so many variegated options? Where will it lead to?
I wonder if there is a market for a geared scooter any more, even if it is a Chetak. AFAIK there is none to be had in the market.

Sure it will not be the same as a 2 stroke tilt and kick scooter other than the name.

I am really keen on seeing what the looks of the scooter will be. Same as the last model or will they launch something that looks more modern.
Mafia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 17:49   #19
Team-BHP Support
 
noopster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 8,665
Thanked: 9,194 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
Things move like a rotating wheel. What goes comes back. Take for instance Aviator glasses, metal strap watches to name it a few. I am of the opinion that retro is a in thing and is the new niche.
I have never ridden a Chetak so I honestly don't know what the experience is vis-a-vis say an Activa. The Padmini analogy was because they were pretty much the same reference time frame. Someone who grew up in the 70s and 80s would know what a Chetak was. The vast majority of the target market for a scooter is youngsters, who wouldn't know it from Adam. So what "retro" market are you talking about tapping, really?

A new scooter offering from Bajaj would need to have features matching the best the current market leaders have to offer plus be equally if not more price-competitive. I am somewhat skeptical about Bajaj's ability to deliver on this front after such a long time off. It was different back in the license raj era where people would book their Chetak and wait years for it.
noopster is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 17:57   #20
BHPian
 
sriramv.iyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 835
Thanked: 710 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

I distinctly remember asking Rajiv Bajaj during my short interview with him (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...jiv-bajaj.html (My Quick Tryst with Rajiv Bajaj)) about scooters and he said he doesn't believe he'd do it (in the short term) - I was telling him that Activa was doing very well. IIRC, he said his focus was only two brands:
1. Pulsar - High End
2. Discover - Commuter

I don't know how I missed capturing it in the summary I posted (above)

I think market dynamics have changed a lot, and it makes a lot of sense to bring back the magic of Chetak brand and mix it with some latest technology and take the fight back to Hondas

Honda stopped selling their CBR after the Dukes! (A little proud of an Indian company handing it to the Japanese) [I remember KTM is Austrian , but it was Bajaj who brought it here and has 48% stake in it!]
sriramv.iyer is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 20:15   #21
BHPian
 
adrian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 751
Thanked: 587 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
What next? Premier relaunching the Padmini?
How I wish your words come true

It would be heaven if

1. Premier relaunches the Padmini
2. HM relaunches Ambassador Mark 1,2,3 & 4
3. Mahindra relaunches the CL 550

Back on topic, we had two Chetaks at home, a 6 volt one and a 12 volt one. We, a family of four used to travel in the Chetak (of course when my sister and I were kids). I learned to ride a two wheeler in a Chetak. The time chosen for learning to ride was just before de-carbonizing, when the power of the scooter will be diminished. Other times, you just drop the clutch carelessly and you get a wheelie. The power, the comfort and the status these machines gave to the rider is irreplaceable. In my experience the Chetak (the 2 stroke one) was a maintenance free work horse.
The thing to look for is whether Bajaj can reclaim the throne in the scooter world.
regards adrian

Last edited by adrian : 12th March 2015 at 20:16.
adrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 21:00   #22
BHPian
 
raghu.t.k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 446
Thanked: 161 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

It might be a hit or miss. The crowd for the Chetak are more office goers and middle aged guys, who today would like to have an Alto or Eon. It might be a good seller in the rural area. It does not support loading the whole family on it, as a 100 cc bike is capable of. Also I always had a feeling that it was inherently unstable since the engine was on one side, and every time a brakes were applied sharply, it tends to skid to one side(compared to lambretta). So can we expect the cub also to be re-launched?

So the next should be Vijay, Alwyn (not sure of the model name) and the Lambretta. If Lambretta is to be re-launched in the original long model, I would get one for the sake of nostalgia!! Probably Royal Enfield having revived the Bullet, should probably try the scooter segment with the Fantabulus.
raghu.t.k is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 21:03   #23
BHPian
 
PrideRed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: BLR/PTR
Posts: 850
Thanked: 1,235 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I have never ridden a Chetak so I honestly don't know what the experience is vis-a-vis say an Activa. The Padmini analogy was because they were pretty much the same reference time frame. Someone who grew up in the 70s and 80s would know what a Chetak was. The vast majority of the target market for a scooter is youngsters, who wouldn't know it from Adam. So what "retro" market are you talking about tapping, really?

A new scooter offering from Bajaj would need to have features matching the best the current market leaders have to offer plus be equally if not more price-competitive. I am somewhat skeptical about Bajaj's ability to deliver on this front after such a long time off. It was different back in the license raj era where people would book their Chetak and wait years for it.
The vast majority of the crowd don't know about the history of Bullet as well which sells like a hot cake. Isn't Bullet a retro looking product which is a dream for many youngsters?Again bullet even though retro comes with technology that can match current generation which is why it sells. I agree with you that it aint gonna be a cake walk for Bajaj. They will have to come with really good Chetak to make an impact in the market. They have failed miserably with Wave,kristal etc. The biggest department where i would see Bajaj to struggle is Engine. They really need a reliable robust engine that can match the Honda.
PrideRed is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2015, 21:12   #24
Senior - BHPian
 
rajeev k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Emerging Metro
Posts: 3,306
Thanked: 1,730 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
The biggest department where i would see Bajaj to struggle is Engine. They really need a reliable robust engine that can match the Honda.
That is true. The Saffire scooter used the engine block of M80 over bored to 94 mm. More than the engine its auto box, which could not deliver power seamlessly, was the culprit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
It would be heaven if 1. Premier relaunches the Padmini 2. HM relaunches Ambassador Mark 1,2,3 & 4 3. Mahindra relaunches the CL 550
OT but on a lighter note, Scooters India and API relaunches the Vijai Super and the Lamby respectively.

Last edited by rajeev k : 12th March 2015 at 21:16.
rajeev k is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2015, 11:13   #25
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,709
Thanked: 89,161 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrideRed View Post
The vast majority of the crowd don't know about the history of Bullet as well which sells like a hot cake. Isn't Bullet a retro looking product
You can't compare the appeal of a Bullet to a Chetak. The Bullet has a cult following, which very few cars & bikes ever manage. Even if they do, few are sustainable. Some others that come to mind are Jeep, Harley-Davidson, Mini, Beetle etc. It's about image, it's about lifestyle, it's about a USP. This is also one of the main reasons that an antique jugaad product like the Thar (I still love it) sells 600 - 800 copies every month. The Bullet is style, the Chetak is cheap utility.

One of the reasons behind the Bullet's success is that it has no competition in the same price bracket. The Harleys & Triumphs are far more expensive.

Bajaj & Chetak - however - have Honda to fight in the scooter segment.
GTO is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2015, 11:50   #26
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,038
Thanked: 681 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Although it appears to be a regressive move to bring back what many consider an obsolete product like the Chetak, I think it has a lot of positives going for it.

I've riden the 2 stroke Chetak (1982 model) extensively, and I used to love it for:
1) The pickup (Could beat many 100 cc motorbikes at the signals)
2) Zero maintainence
3) Load carrying capacity (Have carried over a 150 kgs of goods on this with no issues)
4) Reliability

Where this scooter scored over motorbikes was the stephney, and the loads that could be carried on the running board.

I'm sure even today, there would be a large market for these qualities. Of course, the product definitely needs to be more refined, and safe. The Chetak used to skid very easily on wet roads, I've been through one such skid, and it really shook me up. Hitting the tarmac made me give up the steed, and shift to a car.
Lalvaz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2015, 12:44   #27
BHPian
 
The Great's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 604
Thanked: 600 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Bullet has a cult following
And so does the Vespa - hence the success, also the VW Beetle for instance, had a good cult following.

And as rightly pointed out, the Chetak was never a cult scooter, it was a happy family's "Hamara Bajaj" thing. It was the 80s and 90s Activa.

Similarly the Activa does not have a fan following but its the favorite for its practically across all the families.
The Great is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2015, 12:46   #28
Senior - BHPian
 
Gansan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 3,426
Thanked: 875 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
You can't compare the appeal of a Bullet to a Chetak. The Bullet has a cult following, which very few cars & bikes ever manage. Even if they do, few are sustainable.

One of the reasons behind the Bullet's success is that it has no competition in the same price bracket. The Harleys & Triumphs are far more expensive.

Bajaj & Chetak - however - have Honda to fight in the scooter segment.
Another important reason is, the Bullet has been in continuous production. Mainly sustained by order from the services and Police forces. If it had disappeared, then it would be very difficult to re-kindle the magic.
Gansan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2015, 09:59   #29
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Gurgaon - Pune
Posts: 69
Thanked: 2 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Business strategies change with time. Bajaj may have had certain sound logic for these decisions at that time. At one point of time, literally every middle class household had a scooter.

I have extensively driven a Chetak and then a Super Excel since 1992. I had to let go of the Super 3 years ago while moving from HR26 to MH12. We have a lot of memories of riding from Udaipur to Shripatinagar (about 20 kms on a deserted highway in those times) with a full load - self, wifey and daughter and the months groceries!
These were simple machines which needed little care provided you used the quality spares. I recall the FNG telling me about saving a couple of bucks on the cable would make me a regular visitor!

Bajaj was unable to make a dent in the gearless segment and its target segment had long moved to motorcycles and cars. The new scooter may just share only the name with the old Chetak. I would definately have a look if it gets relaunched.

Last edited by dashoin : 14th March 2015 at 10:16.
dashoin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2015, 10:38   #30
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sgiitk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kanpur
Posts: 7,160
Thanked: 3,755 Times
Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Chetak coming back. Ford are you listening what about a new model T!! I think the retro thing is going too far. The scooter market had been given up, but then Kinetic and Honda have revived it. However, unless we improve our roads this renaissance may turn out to be short lived. I always, (dis)credit our increasingly potholed roads as contributors to the SUV market.
sgiitk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bajaj Chetak is Dead- Long live the legend devarshi84 Motorbikes 24 11th October 2015 21:06
Maintaining a Bajaj Chetak / LML Vespa / Eterno. ashwanth Motorbikes 1 9th August 2009 20:46
Need Chassis for Bajaj Chetak Ananthang Motorbikes 2 8th April 2009 11:20
Bajaj Chetak care when not running for 6 months leadf00t Motorbikes 11 8th July 2008 23:35
Bajaj stops production of Chetak!!! ntomer Motorbikes 0 3rd January 2006 10:51


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:20.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks