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Old 11th March 2015, 11:34   #1
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Default Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Bajaj Auto had decided to step away from the scooter market in India many years ago. But now, with the scooter segment growing at a very fast pace, the company may be rethinking its strategy. Among the products that it could launch is the Chetak.

The Bajaj Chetak is one of the legends of the Indian scooter industry. It was among the most popular two-wheelers in the market till the advent of modern machines. With customers opting for the ease of riding offered by gearless scooters, Bajaj had to discontinue the rather outdated Chetak.

The new Chetak is expected to have retro styling, but sport modern running gear. Rumours suggest that it will be powered by a 125-150 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine coupled to an automatic gearbox. The scooter is also expected to get a modern frame, suspension and brakes and lots of storage space.

Bajaj could display the new Chetak at the 2016 Auto Expo.

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Source: Autocar India

Last edited by Aditya : 11th March 2015 at 11:41.
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Old 11th March 2015, 12:00   #2
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

I had wished for the same some years back as mentioned in the below thread

Bajaj Chetak (How about a Bajaj Chetak in gearless form ?)

Guess Bajaj really took my thread seriously

Its really strange from Bajaj stable that they had this product in their arsenal yet they are concentrating on so many variants of the same Bikes and leaving the scooter market untapped.

Although they did try some gear-less scooters, unsuccessfully though, but I really wonder when they had this mass winner in Chetak why did they have to join the rat race in "Activa" looking scooters.
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Old 11th March 2015, 12:43   #3
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great View Post
I had wished for the same some years back as mentioned in the below thread

Bajaj Chetak (How about a Bajaj Chetak in gearless form ?)

Guess Bajaj really took my thread seriously

Its really strange from Bajaj stable that they had this product in their arsenal yet they are concentrating on so many variants of the same Bikes and leaving the scooter market untapped.

Although they did try some gear-less scooters, unsuccessfully though, but I really wonder when they had this mass winner in Chetak why did they have to join the rat race in "Activa" looking scooters.
LOL, i had mailed the regional head of Bajaj a year back proposing to re-launch the legendary Chetak.
I think a robust engine like the earlier Chetak , CVT, decent suspension, the retro looks sounds like perfect masala for a runaway success. Given that its Bajaj, pricing is going to be killer.
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Old 11th March 2015, 13:59   #4
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Do they have a robust engine in CVT? Given their past performance in automatic scooters, what is the chance of a good CVT engine?
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Old 11th March 2015, 16:10   #5
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Rather than bringing back the Chetak, it would be worthwhile, if they launch a technically perfect and desirable automatic scooter to compete and win against the likes of Honda, Hero and TVS in the segment.
Retro will not always win hearts.

Last edited by rajeev k : 11th March 2015 at 16:13.
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Old 12th March 2015, 09:37   #6
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Chetak is no Vespa that a retro look will help it. You can find a used Bajaj Chetak for as cheap as 2-3K, check http://olx.in/bangalore/q-bajaj-chetak/, for example.

Now, lets look at LML Vespa used scooters, see http://olx.in/bangalore/q-LML-Vespa/. Most of these are prized 20K and above. I don't rule out that since there were too many Chetak's sold compared with LML Vespa, it may be possible LML used ones have more values. However, I have not found too many found Chetak users compared with the LML Vespa ones.

Also, it is not that they want to keep off the scooter segment, it is just that they can't produce a good gear-less scooter, example, Sunny, Spirit, Saffire, Wave, and Kristal. Wave and Kristal were the DTSi-ed version of Wave if memory serves right. Even if they launch Chetak, I expect Bajaj to pull the plug in a year or two.
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Old 12th March 2015, 09:59   #7
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

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?
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Old 12th March 2015, 10:11   #8
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Default re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

This is definitely a funny news. He relaunches the CT 100 / boxer / platina line, and now he relaunches the Chetak?

Considering that they are relaunching a lot of older models at the same time, i doubt if there is anything new "technological" that can happen.

Link to the other story - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-ct-100-a.html (Baffling move by Bajaj; relaunches CT 100)
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Old 12th March 2015, 13:05   #9
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Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Better late than never, I say!

Rajiv Bajaj truly missed (err, abandoned) the boat on this one, eh? I remember Rahul Bajaj's public disagreement with the company leaving the scooter segment behind. Senior Bajaj was definitely right on this one.

The Indian scooter segment is growing, while motorcycles have slowed down (and even shrunk in some months). As a result, Bajaj's 2-wheeler sales & market-share have actually fallen in the current fiscal. Honda currently owns the scooter market, but there's no reason why others shouldn't be able to carve out market-share for themselves.

The Chetak might be a nameplate worth reviving, but from the branding point of view, it might not appeal to the younger generation. Bajaj will need a wider range of brands & products in the scooter category.

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2015 at 11:01. Reason: Mixed up Rahul & Rajiv. Correcting
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Old 12th March 2015, 13:29   #10
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Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

A retro Vespa might work - in the classic geared form, not automatic. I think the Chetak will fall flat, though it was a great scooter in it's day. They did launch a four stroke version, just before the plug was pulled on it.

Honda had a wonderful geared scooter in the 150cc "Eterno". Right side mounted four stroke engine, counter balanced by the strategically placed exhaust on the left, and hand operated gears. But without the quirkiness of the Chetak - no pulling to the right side and both brakes will work nicely. A friend of mine still uses it in Bangalore. I borrow it from him whenever I go there. If they revive it, it will be great.

I had to live alone at Tuticorin for a while, a few years back. I bought a used Chetak on a whim and nostalgia, for Rs 2500.00! Could not tolerate it for more than a month, and sold it for Rs 2000.00.
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Old 12th March 2015, 13:43   #11
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Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

I have very fond memories of a 1987 Chetak that I extensively used when I was in college. It also wasn't my Chetak
So this thread got me thinking. If there was a modern day Chetak, what should its USP be?

The earlier Chetak had:
- oodles of storage space (box in front, box on the side)
- easy fueling (fuel filler between front and rear seat)
- torque. LOTS of torque (made it super driveable)
- most importantly, the "member of my family" charm

Maintenance and reliability, I guess, were on par with the Ambassador, the Chetak's spiritual sibling on 4 wheels.

So, if Bajaj were to re-invent the Chetak in a modern avatar, they will have to do a Mini/Fiat 500 with it. And retain the key traits of the older Chetak as their USP.
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Old 12th March 2015, 15:31   #12
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Default

Mod Note : Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the SAME THREAD!

To know how to multi-quote, click here (How to MULTI-QUOTE (when replying to a thread) on Team-BHP).


It looks like Bajaj auto is having to eat their own words!
I clearly remember them saying on record that the scooter market is not for them and has nothing in it.

Looks like continued and dominant success of Activa has given them a bad headache!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post

Honda had a wonderful geared scooter in the 150cc "Eterno". Right side mounted four stroke engine, counter balanced by the strategically placed exhaust on the left, and hand operated gears. But without the quirkiness of the Chetak - no pulling to the right side and both brakes will work nicely. A friend of mine still uses it in Bangalore. I borrow it from him whenever I go there. If they revive it, it will be great.
.
Pls excuse for going little
Well well well, my father had enquired about eterno a year or so after it's launch. the dealership owner was known to us, and he kindly advised us to stay away from it, citing issues with the product, unavailability of spares and absolutely zero sales.
Not sure of the truth though why exactly eterno failed so miserably

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2015 at 11:03. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 12th March 2015, 15:47   #13
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Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

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!
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Old 12th March 2015, 15:47   #14
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Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

If Bajaj plans to launch the Chetak or a scooter rather, they must look at making it a modern Vespa alternate, something like the new LML Star scooters. And please lets not get down the nostalgia lane and say, lets make a Fiat 500 and keep the old characteristic intact. I understand that over the passage of time a sepia tinted fondness appears for all kinds of things, but in its heyday the Bajaj Scooters were plain and simple horrible. The body was made of tin, old toys or powder boxes, used to rust just like that and the contraption was imbalanced. If one was not skilled in the art of maintaining a leftward pull, he/she would soon have a fall, the breaks were non existent (rear brakes), but god forbid if one pressed the front brakes, he may fall over the handle ahead of the scooter. The 8 inch wheels use to tramline on all kinds of roads, and used to skid when shown a patch of water. The gear change was a joke and the accelerator and clutch cables used to be shared with the autorickshaws and used to break almost every week or so. The metal on the dickky was sharp enough to cut fingers on!! For this joke machine India had to pay throw the nose, wait for several years and pay in foreign exchange!! Dark days of licence raj was personified by the senior Bajaj.
Sorry I am glad that we got rid of these things from our roads...
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Old 12th March 2015, 15:58   #15
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Default Re: Bajaj could bring back the Chetak scooter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
he kindly advised us to stay away from it, citing issues with the product, unavailability of spares and absolutely zero sales.
Not sure of the truth though why exactly eterno failed so miserably
Same reason why the Chetak and LML Vespa disappeared. Because by then geared scooters were passe, and gearless ones were in vogue. In fact Scooters themselves were losing out to bikes, till the Activa arrived on the scene.

Honda thought they could reverse the trend with the Eterno, but could not. It stood no chance against their own Activa, and was discontinued within a couple of years of launch. For a short while it was made to order, then that too stopped.

But it was a wonderful scooter, all the same.

Last edited by Gansan : 12th March 2015 at 15:59.
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