Bajaj Auto is estimated to have dropped the ex-showroom price of the Pulsar 135LS in the range of Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000. The model, which was earlier priced close to Rs 62,000 (ex-showroom, Pune), is now retailing for Rs 57,494 (ex-showroom, Maharashtra), according to the company website. The two best-selling motorcycles in this segment – Hero Glamour and Honda CB Shine are currently retailed in the price band of Rs 55,213-Rs 57,312 and Rs 57,449-Rs 62,797 – both prices ex-showroom, Pune – respectively.
Bajaj Auto’s intent is clearly to encash into the rising demand for mileage-friendly commuter bikes by making its smallest-capacity Pulsar available for sales within the segment’s price range. The Pulsar 135LS offers several superior features as standard including a front-disc brake, larger engine displacement with DTS-i technology, and superior power delivery among others. In comparison, the base variants of the Hero Glamour and Honda CB Shine come with drum brake fitments. This price-drop game-plan seems to be Bajaj Auto’s strategy is to draw 125cc customers to the bigger engine displacement classes of 135cc and 150cc – the 134.66cc Pulsar 135LS, 149.5cc Bajaj V and 150cc Avenger Street 150 – all models running on proven air-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder DTS-i engine technology.
According to Bajaj Auto’s website, the Bajaj V and Avenger Street 150 are priced at Rs 62,803 and Rs 73,388 (both ex-showroom, Maharashtra). It is to be noted that while the Avenger brand has brought the first ever affordable cruiser motorcycle to its segment, the V15 comes with many unconventional highlights including its design, throaty exhaust system, a piece of metal from the INS Vikrant and others. It is interesting to note that SIAM industry sales data of May 2016 reveals that Bajaj Auto has sold more volumes in the 125cc-150cc motorcycle category than Hero MotoCorp and HMSI sold in 110cc-125cc segment respectively. Bajaj Auto’s total sales in the 125cc-150cc segment stood at 77,464 units for May 2016. Hero and Honda sold 75,621 units and 70,858 units respectively in the 110cc-125cc segment last month.
Hero Glamour best-selling 125cc bike
While Honda grabbed best-seller position in the 125cc motorcycle segment for FY2015-16 with its popular CB Shine, Hero MotoCorp has been leading the pack for the past four months. The table provided traces the struggle between the two contemporary rivals in the Indian two-wheeler market in the executive commuter motorcycle segment over the past eight months. Hero (Glamour and variants) has outsold Honda (CB Shine and variants) for five months during the period. On the other hand, a struggle for number-three slot can also be seen between Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company. Bajaj Auto, which has been adversely impacted by the slowdown of its Discover brand, lost to TVS Motor in March 2016, thanks to the latter’s Victor brand. “This out-of-the-box (read segment) strategy from Bajaj Auto is clever to fill in the shoes of a competent 125cc motorcycle that could stand in the market against the likes of the hugely popular CB Shine and Glamour. Pitching the Pulsar 135LS with its superior features in the same domain is interesting. It is yet to be seen how the market now responds,” remarked an industry analyst.