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Old 24th October 2017, 20:07   #46
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Dear friends,
Last week I hired a D400 for a week.

What I liked most was its plain Jane looks. I'm 40 plus and it would not behove me to go to office in some college kid's colorful play station bike. So I did enjoy the relative anonymity of a non stripey bike.

However...

It has a seriously bad headlight problem. It's as if someone took a train headlight and fixed it to the bike.

It's like a floodlight tower from a cricket stadium. It is not focused and aligned at the factory.

It's rude and impolite to blinden people's rear view mirror with street light type of headlights.

I was so embarrassed that I bought masking tape and covered 3/4th of the light dome with it. Even that wasn't enough. So I got lion bandage (belladonna brand, has holes kind of thing) from a medical shop and covered the whole thing.

It looked like Darth Vader in a new mask.

Some babu at dept. Of transport has made it mandatory to have daylight running lights. So I couldn't even turn it off.

So now I just refurbished my old RX 100 (1988 model) and coping with my mid life crisis.
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Old 24th October 2017, 22:16   #47
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by gauravanekar View Post
I am sure many people were treated like this.

Dominar is a supposed to be a powercruiser, is the test ride appropriate for that tag? Rahul Bajaj, where is your brains?
I've noticed that most test bikes were crashed by inexperienced riders even before product delivery has begun! Totally agree that potential customer should be given test-ride, but they don't yet have a fool-proof way to know the difference.

You will be amazed at how people treat something which is not their own ride! and they are the majority sadly. One more point to be added is that some showroom guys lend out customer bikes as TD ones imagine if someone crashes it. We can't have nice thing until everyone changes.
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Old 24th October 2017, 22:58   #48
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by hangover View Post
So now I just refurbished my old RX 100 (1988 model) and coping with my mid life crisis.


What a way to cope up with mid life crisis! That is one amazing bike you have there.
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Old 24th October 2017, 22:59   #49
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Smile Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by giri1.8 View Post
Totally agree that potential customer should be given test-ride, but they don't yet have a fool-proof way to know the difference.

You will be amazed at how people treat something which is not their own ride! and they are the majority sadly. One more point to be added is that some showroom guys lend out customer bikes as TD ones imagine if someone crashes it. We can't have nice thing until everyone changes.
I do agree that people mistreat TD vehicles a lot. There is no fool proof method for this kind of behaviour but we also need to see how other brands are managing with the same set of customers. The approach is different, for example I never objected having a dealer representative as a pillion, all I needed was open road to check the top end power/vibration. When I was shopping for a hatchback last year. I took a test drive of Liva on Nice road, the showroom experience was far better, The salesperson himself insisted that I take the car for a longer test drive.
Needless to add, test drive went smooth without any incident or accident.
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Old 24th October 2017, 23:40   #50
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Bajaj needs to identify their customer base and cater to them accordingly.
Customers walking in to look at the Dominar are:

- Looking for something above the Pulsar
- Looking at something below the KTM's
- Looking at something other than an RE

This is the customer class which Bajaj is not used to dealing with! Pulsar 150 is the highest selling 150 cc motorcycle in the country, so sales teams don't really have to bother to cajole anyone into buying that! Plus, they have +10 - 15 cc increment models at 10k price gaps till the 220cc mark, so whoever has short change to spare more than what the 150 sells for, opts for how much ever cc they want!!

What Bajaj should have is a NEXA like setup for the Dominar. Keep the sales teams doing 100 - 220 cc sales to do what they've been doing. Form new teams exclusively for the Dominar! Make the customer feel special, and suddenly the motorcycle will also start looking special. Otherwise, people will start looking at the Dominar as the Pulsar 370 - which I guess is already happening. No one from the earlier mentioned customer class is going to a Bajaj showroom to buy a Pulsar 370!
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Old 25th October 2017, 00:38   #51
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
What Bajaj should have is a NEXA like setup for the Dominar. Keep the sales teams doing 100 - 220 cc sales to do what they've been doing. Form new teams exclusively for the Dominar! Make the customer feel special, and suddenly the motorcycle will also start looking special. Otherwise, people will start looking at the Dominar as the Pulsar 370 - which I guess is already happening. No one from the earlier mentioned customer class is going to a Bajaj showroom to buy a Pulsar 370!
I believe Bajaj had come up with Probiking showrooms back in 2007-09, which for many reasons didn't quite stand out but was later made way to place KTM & Kawasaki products in those sites. Yes, they should seriously think of reintroducing these models under different line of showrooms that feels a bit distinguished from it's other siblings.
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Old 25th October 2017, 00:41   #52
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post


What a way to cope up with mid life crisis! That is one amazing bike you have there.
I'm guessing that you are also a fan of the RX.

Few irrelevant details:

It hadn't been started since 3 years. I merely put in some petrol with 5% oil and it started first kick.

Stranger's on the road, mechanic's and others rudely ask if it's for sale. It's rusty and smoky. I once did Blr-Pune in 12 hours on it. It's not for sale.

In my simple opinion it (RX) is a very relaxed mode of transport. 4th gear is good for 30-120 kmph. Girls like the bike. It's comfortable to ride pillion.

And the sound...purgatory.

Back to the topic.

The D400 is a decent bike. Comparing it to the Bullet is unfair. They are 2 separate categories.
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:59   #53
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Here goes my opinion.

Background:
first bike was CD100 , loved it
Second bike was Splendour, loved it as well
Third bike was Karizma, still loving it ( but she is dead from inside out..12 years is too long)..hope you see the pattern.
4th bike (just for kicks) bought avenger 220 and burnt my finger badly.

My job took me to US for about a month once in 6 months. So couldn't ride the avenger regularly, every time after coming back from US I need to recharge the battery and change some mandatory parts told by Bajaj A.S.S. I had to buy and service the bike from pro biking dealers only which was a major inconvenience. Needless to say Avenger aged very very badly within 3 years and had to dispose it off for a meagre amount.
Since selling the avenger I moved onto cars and shipped off my Karizma to a cousin in chennai.

Why doesn't one provide a kick start in a bike? Avenger didn't have it...and dominar doesn't have it(KTM s don't either). Its a deal breaker for me because of my driving pattern. (Some one with more knowledge on this subject please explain)

Coming back to Topic, walked into Khivraj Bajaj in marathahalli , Bangalore. Not so much as a cursory greeting from sales Guys.checked out the dominar , a guy walks up to me and said "1.9 lakhs on road, 2 weeks delivery" and walked off...No Hi, hello, how are you, how can I help you, thanks for coming...
I had ready cash in account he could have converted my walk into a sale in a matter of 5 mins.
Walked out of Bajaj and walked into KTM , pretty decent showroom experience. But 2.8 lakhs for similarly specced Duke390 put me off, I know the bhp is higher, but still couldn't bring me to spend so much to feed my midlife crisis .
RE was never in contention as I didn't like the weight and bulkiness of the vehicle( irony, I am overweight and bulky, guess didn't want the vehicle to look like me too).
I am not a person who Let's a bad sales guy put me off from consuming the product ( my first car was a manza , which was bought from a very reluctant bunch of sales Guys at Concorde motors in dairy circle, the car was not delivered for a month after promised delivery date , in spite of my EMI started kicking in)

My verdict: I am definitely going to buy Dominar, it's the most VFM product in the segment today. But the bike lacks soul and it doesn't pull me towards it. So when she wants me , I shall go.
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:26   #54
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by v6kgang View Post
But 2.8 lakhs for similarly specced Duke390 put me off, I know the bhp is higher, but still couldn't bring me to spend so much to feed my midlife crisis .
.
only similarity between dominar and duke is the displacement. They are as different as a chalk and cheese!

Tft display, phone connectivity, better brakes, better throttle response(ride by wire), way better performance and handling, better materials resulting in lighter weight, absolutely better looks, totally better tyres and overall better brand value!

When you can pay 1.9 from bank ac for dominar, why not stretch another 90k? In emi terms its nothing!
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:37   #55
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
only similarity between dominar and duke is the displacement. They are as different as a chalk and cheese!

Tft display, phone connectivity, better brakes, better throttle response(ride by wire), way better performance and handling, better materials resulting in lighter weight, absolutely better looks, totally better tyres and overall better brand value!

When you can pay 1.9 from bank ac for dominar, why not stretch another 90k? In emi terms its nothing!
Agreed Duke is a better package and personally cash flow isn't a problem and I plan to pay upfront. With no test drives offered at Bajaj and KTM, I am heavily in doubt if duke will be comfortable for driving in Bangalore stop and go traffic keeping in mind my heavy frame.
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Old 25th October 2017, 10:06   #56
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
What Bajaj should have is a NEXA like setup for the Dominar. Keep the sales teams doing 100 - 220 cc sales to do what they've been doing. Form new teams exclusively for the Dominar!
Dont you think they have done that before with Bajaj Pro biking outlets?

I am sure many of us can still recollect "bikes hanging off from roof" images .
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Old 25th October 2017, 10:39   #57
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

Reading pre-sales experiences from others, it seems Dominar is a competent product which manages to draw enthusiasts to the showrooms who are then turned away by disinterested sales people. This attitude from showrooms can have seriously damaging consequences for the brand in future since those who have left the showrooms disappointed may not return even if Bajaj launches something better and powerful in future.

Bajaj needs to provide the premium overall experience for Dominar which it truly deserves, bringing back probiking would certainly be a good idea.
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Old 25th October 2017, 10:46   #58
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
Reading pre-sales experiences from others, it seems Dominar is a competent product which manages to draw enthusiasts to the showrooms who are then turned away by disinterested sales people. This attitude from showrooms can have seriously damaging consequences for the brand in future since those who have left the showrooms disappointed may not return even if Bajaj launches something better and powerful in future.
Any bike priced north of Rs 1.5 lakh is bound to have fat margins for the dealers.
Then why is it that the Sales staff are dis-interested to sell these premium bikes?
Or is it that they are not interested to sell anything for that matter!
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Old 25th October 2017, 10:54   #59
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

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Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Any bike priced north of Rs 1.5 lakh is bound to have fat margins for the dealers.
Then why is it that the Sales staff are dis-interested to sell these premium bikes?
Bajaj dealers just want to warm their couches and boss over poor customers. I guess they know that anyone who walks into Bajaj showroom is someone who wants more for his money than what Hero and Honda offer. The same logic is extended to those who are interested in these expensive bikes.

Couple of years ago, I had terrible experience when I had nearly made up my mind to buy NS200 buy didn't because the dealer was totally arrogant. Dominar experience was the second one.

The sentiment that Bajaj is for those who don't have money for Hero or Honda is something that has been propagated by the dealers and not by customers.

Last edited by ksameer1234 : 25th October 2017 at 10:55.
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Old 25th October 2017, 16:35   #60
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Default Re: Bajaj overestimating Dominar 400 sales?

I think I may be the only one with a really positive Bajaj Dealership experience here!

I have written about it before you wont go into details but in short the Dealer offered me 2 5KM + test rides one with my wife as pillion and another with my friend as pillion. The one with my friend was at night after 9 because the SA wanted to demonstrate the bike's headlights to me. This was before the booking amount was paid. He even asked my friend to take a test ride, even though he didnt want to buy a bike.

After reading so many negative experiences at the dealer level I agree that if I was subjected to the same I would never buy a Bajaj product. I did do a small write up on Quora as to why the Dominar is not doing as well as it should have. Am directly copy pasting it below:

I feel that though not a total dud (Mojo - insufficient marketing), the Dominar hasnt really done as well as it should have.

As a package no one (even RE owners) can deny that its the best VFM in the market today. You get a competent strong engine, ABS and a slipper clutch under Rs 2 lakhs. These things make the bike excellent. The LED headlights are good but coming from the NS, frankly the improvement is marginal. But where Bajaj dropped the ball is the marketing. For people who knew that such a bike was going to be launched it was a different story, but for people who are not as abreast with motoring news, they are totally unaware about the existence of such a bike. I recently came across an army person who asked me if it was an “import”. When I asked him to guess the company, he thought it was a new naked from Kawasaki or Honda. He was genuinely surprised that Bajaj has made this bike. It was a veiled compliment but the fact is that the “junta” is still not aware of this bike.

Dominar Owner’s Club (DOC) is something that will perhaps increase visibility and Bajaj is trying things with partly sponsored trips to Leh but it feels a little too late. Remember Rajiv Bajaj saying that they aim to sell 10000 units a month (incl exports)? Recent sales report suggests they are struggling to sell 1/3 of that target.

Lets not even visit the fan boy discussions claiming that they can threaten RE or not because frankly people tend to get irrational in these. As a standalone product, the bike is a winner. As a campaign and lifestyle choice, Bajaj clearly fumbled the ball. They kept patting each other on the backs in the boardrooms and forgot that an excellent product is nothing without a good deal of marketing. Just look at how TVS still advertises its Apache RTR 180 series.

It doesnt help things that Bajaj is also known to immediately axe products which dont do well in the market. It happened with the NS then the AS and now the NS is back again and the AS owners will feel shortchanged. Same has happened with the Discover series as well. Not surprisingly most Tom, Dick and Harry’s know these things but not about the existence of a bike called Dominar.

So if you go by the planned vs achieved sales figures, yes its not successful. If you go by the hype and public knowledge, yes the bike is still unsuccessful. The only people for whom the bike is successful, is its owners. This is not because of bias, but people who own the bike will agree that its a fantastic versatile machine which needs to be marketed better. I could write pages and pages on the feel and the flexibility of using this bike everyday as compared to bigger and supposedly better bikes available in the market, but thats not my job. Bajaj needs to do more than take sly jabs at RE (haathi mat paalo campaign). To be honest, apart from their legacy “Humara Bajaj” ad and perhaps the Pulsar mania ad, their other campaigns look pretty shallow. Leave other manufacturers to their antics and focus on getting your piece of the pie through not just product differentiation but also awareness amongst the masses.

I hope Bajaj is listening!
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