The dismal run of Bajaj Discover 100 cc variant hampered the brand at second position in volumes according to Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj
Indian businessman and Managing Director of Bajaj Auto since 2005, Rajiv Bajaj, has revealed his biggest regret and the one that was called as his carrier’s biggest blunder. The Pune-based manufacturer introduced the Discover in 2004 and the range had motorcycles of different capacities such as Discover 100 DTS-Si, Discover 125ST and Discover 150 DTS-i.
At the earliest, the Discover was launched with an 125 cc engine and it was followed by a 112 cc version by the end of 2005. In 2007, a 135 cc variant came up and it was eventually replaced by a 150 cc model. A 100 cc Discover with DTS-Si powertrain entered the domestic market in 2009 and in 2013 the Discover 100 T, 100M and 125 T were powered by world’s first four-valve DTSi twin spark engine.
Rajiv Bajaj states that the launch of the 100 cc Discover as the biggest mistake and according to hit it stagnated the Pulsar maker at second position among mainstream brands in terms of volume. Despite acknowledging the breakthrough made by Discover 125 that helped in appreciable volume surge, the 100 cc was blamed by him for losing “position and five years later we lost our performance too”.
Bajaj went with the logic of a more affordable 100 cc Discover commuter following the footsteps of the successful 125 cc sibling but it did not pan out how they wanted. He further said part of the decision to proceed with the 100 cc was due to “greed came in” for more volume sales and thereby losing the “different perception and a USP” the Discover range had.
The Bajaj Discover 100 cc was referred by him as “me too” product due to its rather conservative approach and couldn’t excel amongst the competition – the traits responsible for other Bajaj motorcycles standing out in the first place. On the other hand, having overturned the Austrian brand’s fortunes to become the largest seller in Europe, Rajiv Bajaj relished his investment in KTM more than a decade ago.
He also explained that Bajaj will be entering the electric motorcycle space next year and it could be possible under a standalone brand called Urbanite. In the immediate course of action, KTM is expected to launch the entry-level Duke 125 by the closure of 2018 while the Duke 790 is also being considered. KTM’s long-awaited 390 Adventure will arrive sometime next year as well while Bajaj is planning a revamp of its popular bikes.