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Old 21st October 2017, 22:11   #16
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Possibly an issue with positioning and marketing - like how Tata Aria was advertised as a SUV instead of MPV. I think the positioning of Dominar as an alternative to RE Bullet was a mistake (although they both have near equal engine size & price)
Completely wrong example imho. Aria flopped simply because of two things, price and very poor quality in the initial batches. Also lack of an autobox. With all that rectified the Hexa is selling quite well.
Bajaj made an unforgivable mistake of low down attack on RE riders calling their choices elephants and what not. This tactic was not taken well, especially since Pulsars are the champions of Kurla biking club hooliganism.
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Old 21st October 2017, 22:30   #17
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Coming back to the top offering from Bajaj, the Dominar appears to lack the emotional connect and appeal that its well entrenched competitors have.
Totally agree!

A cbr250r rider will not want to upgrade to a dominar. Main issue being the badge "bajaj". People rather spend an extra 60-80k and go for the much better KTM 390s.

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Old 21st October 2017, 22:54   #18
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Totally agree!

A cbr250r rider will not want to upgrade to a dominar. Main issue being the badge "bajaj". People rather spend an extra 60-80k and go for the much better KTM 390s.

Totally Disagree.

It's the Product that matters. For the Record Tiago and Nexon have made me walk into the Tata showrooms to check them out with great interest.

Issue with the Dominar is that it blends with the traffic rather than stand out. The design even though modern and pleasing doesn't stand out Loud Enough.. and to top it, the RE Boys go that extra mile to fit after market End cans on their "pachyderms".

Riding an RE is Still the best way to get noticed withing a budget of 1.5 lakh in India. Even the obviously Superior KTM 390's with a pedigree brand, sells miniscule 390's when compared to the RE's.


Adding to my above logic that its the MODEL that is more important:

Not very long time back Mercedes Models was considered "Uncle Type" because of the way it was styled.. and just see how the current crop of Youthful and Chic styled models has made Mercedes No. 1 among The German Trio (Merc-Audi-BMW).

The Brand, Mercedes was and still is the same.


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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Bajaj made an unforgivable mistake of low down attack on RE riders calling their choices elephants and what not.

This tactic was not taken well, especially since Pulsars are the champions of Kurla biking club hooliganism.

That JUST a Promotion tactic.. and in the end, "No Publicity is Bad Publicity". I personally liked the Ad.

And like I mentioned in my above post, a Product has to be Louder Visually (and maybe Literally) when it comes to taking on the RE "Bullet/Classic" in India. That's where the Dominar has to make a bigger impact.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 22nd October 2017 at 07:12. Reason: Back to back posts
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Old 22nd October 2017, 06:27   #19
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Totally Disagree.

It's the Product that matters. For the Record Tiago and Nexon have made me walk into the Tata showrooms to check them out with great interest.
Now you may well walk into the showrrom to check it out, but does that mean you are going to buy them?

I have owned more than half a dozen tata cars, and have recommended zest, tigor, tiago and hexa to a lot of friends, they check them out, tell me those cars are superb. But what do they buy? A maruti or a hyundai! That is the same thing happening with dominar.

Most young chaps want to get noticed, so they either go cheap for the r15 or for duke 200 at the same price of dominar.

Most middle aged chaps want to be safe, they are not after performance, hence go for enfields.

What is left out is enthusiasts who know bikes well. But they buy dominar only when they are strictly under 2 lakh budget. Most of us would not mind going in for ktm 390s given the emi schemes make it much easier to afford.

In my experience, the interest a product generates may not translate into absolute sales.
Because I went to bajaj showroom with great interest to check out the dominar. Agreed it is a great product, but what did i get reminded when I saw "Bajaj"? My days with p220 & pulsar 200NS flashes into my mind, reminding how worthless bajaj A.S.S is! And it is a fact that bajaj lacks the snob value of a Japanese/European manufacturer.

Now this explains why Pulsar 200ns never got popular inspite of being substantially cheaper than Duke 200 yet making almost the same BHP. And with Dominar, its substantially cheaper while being substantially lower in power too, vis a vis 390s.
As someone told, tourers are a few and far in between. No taking away credit from dominar that it is among the best touring bikes in the coutry(with a windshield though), but somehow it doesnt pull the strings hard enough!

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Old 22nd October 2017, 10:05   #20
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Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
Now you may well walk into the showrrom to check it out, but does that mean you are going to buy them?
Yes Sir, the NEXON is in my sights.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
Most young chaps want to get noticed, so they either go cheap for the r15 or for duke 200 at the same price of dominar.

Most middle aged chaps want to be safe, they are not after performance, hence go for enfields.

Going purely by your logic, sales above1 lakh models show that the average age of the Indian Motorcycle Customer is Hugely Skewed Towards "Middle Aged Chaps".


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
Now this explains why Pulsar 200ns never got popular inspite of being substantially cheaper than Duke 200 yet making almost the same BHP.

And with Dominar, its substantially cheaper while being substantially lower in power too, vis a vis 390s.

As someone told, tourers are a few and far in between. No taking away credit from dominar that it is among the best touring bikes in the coutry(with a windshield though), but somehow it doesnt pull the strings hard enough!

You honestly think common customers (who have never heard of Team-Bhp) care what is Better/Generates more Power/Handles Better??

Just a tiny winy percentage of population post here on Team-Bhp. In India the Perception of Royal Enfield from age 18 to 80 is "ROYAL GADDI" / "ULTIMATE MACHO SYMBOL" within 1.5 lakhs. You should listen to the "Indori Pataka" exhausts on the road by our so called "Middle Aged" folks.

Last edited by Aditya : 23rd October 2017 at 16:52. Reason: Typo
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Old 23rd October 2017, 10:31   #21
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Why I decided not to go with the Dominar

I've had a RE 350 CI and then bought a UCE 500, though I am not an RE fan boy, far from it.

After the Dominar was launched, I was sold already. The bike was absolute VFM. I was bored with my RE, so I decided to go with the Dominar. Since I wanted to keep the bike for around 2 years, I thought no point going with the Duke 390.

So what greets me when I walk in the Bajaj showroom? Bored sales folks sitting on a sofa, who didn't even bother coming up to me. I had to call the guy. And after the mandatory bike costs so and so, power blah- blah, I asked him for a test ride.

The response - "Only in the parking lot", which is less than 100 meters.

Called another showroom, the guy flat out refuses for a test ride.

I then sent an email to the Bajaj customer care regarding this whole test ride fiasco. They didn't bother to respond.

So why should I spend my hard earned money on a product, even if it is really good and VFM, when Bajaj doesn't care to provide a good sales experience?

This reminds me, I had decided to buy CBR 250 instead of the RE 500. When asked for a test ride, the Honda sales rep says, "Absolutely no test rides. You wanna buy it, then go ahead, otherwise you can choose something else."

I can only imagine what the Bajaj A.S.S experience would be like.

So that's why I decided not to go with the Dominar.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 11:22   #22
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Some interesting (and opposing) points of view here! Let me add my two paise worth of opinion - the Dominar had the spotlight on it well before it was actually launched. Rajiv Bajaj spoke about it often and was clear that it was being positioned as the modern alternative to the royal enfield. I for one did not expect the Dominar to look so sporty (for want of a better word). When you say royal enfield you get this image of laid back cruising, classic timeless looks and that distinct engine thump. The dominar does not fit into this image - I think it is a nice looking bike, but it does not make the average bullet aspirant/buyer consider it immediately. As others have mentioned, their ad campaign wasen't good either - the dominar riders looked quite the image of the boy racer. An average, mature rider I think is quite aware of his riding limits, and he buys the bullet not because he wants to carve corners. He buys it to indulge himself with long relaxed rides , not scrape the footpegs around every bend. The dominar somehow does not connect with this image look wise.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 11:26   #23
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

When it comes to RE vs Dominar, a lot many things come to play. However, post BS4 era, I have noticed that the RE (classic/TB) engine performance has dipped substantially. Drove a 1970 bullet, a 2015 bullet and a June 2017 bullet back to back, and bullets don't feel like bullets to a great extent. They aren't much joy to drive anymore, which tips the scale towards Dominar. But again both the brands are known for their own share of niggles, just that, RE fans buy them despite knowing the fact, due to the 'appeal'.

However, here's what may make the actual tourers incline towards RE, which is the bike being in its bare bones avatar (its a negative but a positive in its own way). Say if a Dominar and a bullet breaks down somewhere near Ladakh, which one will be easier to repair by the rider himself? It is nearly impossible to create an engine which never breaks down. But Bajaj for touring enthusiasts have to get bikes which are easy to repair by the riders themselves, and don't have too much complicated components. Bajaj, and even the other brands have a long way to go when it comes to trump RE.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 11:54   #24
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Lot of comparison is going for RE Classic/ Thunderbird Vs. Dominor. Dominor is VFM , compared to Thunderbird, not when compared to Classic. Next, I would like to take the attention towards other products that may be actually eating up Dominor's space. Look at the 250 CC market , and we can see, one of the main competitor , that we are ignoring is Yamaha F25. Having an international name and the engines that are more stable , which can be abused , definitely gives the VFM tag to this machine than Dominor. Indians are still price sensitive. But, brand conscious too. Dominor would have lost the soil under it's foot unknowingly to other brands, while they were trying to take the fight with RE. Bajaj had also revised the pricing, which had made the on road price of Dominor, to go above 2 Lac. Just my observations.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 12:24   #25
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Taking on RE with Dominor in the way Bajaj did/doing was a poor choice. RE is not sold because of what the bike offers technically or by performance.. RE sells purely because of its image it has built over years. The biggest and wisest decision RE made was to shift to integrated unit and to swap brakes/gear levers. This proved to be a master stroke to allow easy transition and eliminate any perceptional fear. It is still a macho bike and i can extrapolate and say the buying decision is usually girlfriend, fiance or partner driven in many cases(When it comes to bullet). What also worked in its favor was pricing of the next macho bike in mindset(the harley's). And RE did an amazing work with Himalyan bringing in a proper tour specific bike for RE lovers.

Dominor tried to attack the same image we are talking about in their advertisement. The image is build over years and cannot be taken away with a mere advertisement.

I am thinking who will even try the Dominor from a budget perspective.

Budget 1L and below may not even try the non ABS version
Budget 1.2 to 1.4 may want to check the Dominor. RE is strong in image in this segment. They also have Yamaha FZ25 for competition.
Budget 1.4-1.6 - RE, Dominor ABS is potential choice. Stretch potential is there to jump to 390 straight away.

So it has to be someone in the 1-1.4L segment with stretch potential. And here the competition and choices are very high throughout the segment. The extra money saved is looked at definitely savings and not a throw away money. I feel Dominor is stuck in between and would need a different approach in promotion and marketing to start flooding the market. They should ideally announce exchange programs and special discounts for trading in Bullets (Either directly or indirectly), may be even arrange for try outs for bullet owners to take it for a weekend ride and basically establishing a footprint in the image department they are trying to attack.

Last edited by VW2010 : 23rd October 2017 at 12:43.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 13:44   #26
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by cataclysm View Post
So why should I spend my hard earned money on a product, even if it is really good and VFM, when Bajaj doesn't care to provide a good sales experience?
This is exactly what happened with me when I decided to try out Dominar, sometime earlier this year. I went to Planet Bajaj in Pune and was totally smeared by the looks of so many Bajaj and KTMs around me. However, the bike was on ground floor with all sales people on first floor. This was a time I was engaged and was looking forward to move on from RC390 to something more pillion friendly.

So much was I smitten by Dominar that I ignored the fact that I had to beg to watchman there for test drive who then generously allowed me to take a round of compound in first gear! To rub salt on wounds when I went upstairs and managed to grab attention of disinterested sales people, I was given rubbishly low offer if I wanted to trade my RC in. It was as if the guy wanted to dissuade me from buying Dominar.

I had walked in to seriously evaluate Dominar and left totally dejected. I don't think 1.5 lakh rupees for a bike is small change and anyone interested deserves to be treated better. So long as Bajaj doesn't realise this, Dominar will continue to miss their tall estimates.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 14:19   #27
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
Some questions I would like to ask:

Quote:
- Is it the service network or more specifically, the unqualified mechanics contributing to these figures?
YES.
Bajaj service is far from perfect.
It may be slightly better than RE, but they are nowhere near the top of the pile.
Bajaj's spares are cheap to buy. But, they are of ordinary quality. They just do not last.
These experiences stay in the customers' mind forever.



Quote:
- Is it quality issues with the product itself?
Somewhat Yes. However, minor issues are there in every product.

Quote:
- Is it brand perception at play?
100%.
Bajaj's image is no-where near to the cult status enjoyed by the RE.
That partly because Bajaj has been associated with smoky Scooters, 100cc Boxers, Discovers in our market. It will take time, for us to forget all of this.
Here are my 2 cents.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 15:03   #28
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

The reasons for Dominar's mediocre sales IMHO are
1. The latest Bajaj 'Go Hyperriding' ad very well highlights Dominar's advantages over REs. However, probably less than 10% of RE buyers buy it for actual touring and only they are bound to appreciate the features and technology offered by Dominar and its VFM value. The rest 90% buy REs because they want to buy only REs. They just want the THUMP, the classic looks, macho image. Those customers will not even consider Dominar.

2. Dominar is TOO UNDERSTATED, especially when parked. I've seen the bike in flesh around town and they don't stand out at all. Only the headlight is unique. The tail light is tooo Pulsarish if seen from a distance.

3. Bajaj engines age faster than its japanese counterparts. How the bike will sound and ride after say 4 years is questionable. That fact keeps people away from Dominar because it is a bit expensive.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 16:36   #29
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by Gildarts View Post
That fact keeps people away from Dominar because it is a bit expensive.
Expensive? Compared to what? I think Dominar is the most VFM bike in market today. Only thing it is plagued by is not so clear differentiation and unnecessary comparison with RE. Bajaj needs to position Dominar as a touring-friendly bike, lilke how Mahindra did with Mojo. Compared to Mojo, Dominar has much going for it and similar campaign would have helped far more than the confused hyper-riding ads.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 16:43   #30
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

I am hardly a bike person but definitely relate to the passion that a bike or car infuses in a person. Here'e my theory, in my view there are primarily 2 main categories of buyers. 1st who are looking at for A to B commute and get what does the job in simplest way, 2nd who also care how the A to B commute happens, how it rides etc.


People who buy RE, KTM, Dominars of the world are primarily the 2nd category and buy a specific product for the passion it generates in them, and this is exactly where Dominar fails. It may be an awesome overall product but biggest letdown is the styling. I have seen a few on road and other than bright LED headlights rest is very routine. Compare that to a RE or the new KTM390, you see one and it kindles a desire to have one.
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