Bajaj to launch new 100cc bike
Bajaj Auto is close to launching a third 100 cc bike - in addition to the Discover and Platina - to take on Hero MotoCorp's bread and butter products, the Splendor and the Passion, as well as Honda's new model at the entry level, the 110 cc Dream Yuga. Codenamed D-104, the bike is slated for launch in October-November and is expected to be aggressively priced at around Rs 40,000, a tad lower than its 100 cc and 110 cc rivals.
People close to the development say the new product's unique selling proposition will be latest technology at an affordable price. They add that the soon-to-be-launched model will have features that are not usually found in the value segment, like perhaps an electric start, a digital instrument cluster, front and rear disc brakes and LED lights. Bajaj Auto will also do away with steel and instead using fibre and plastic to make the two-wheeler lighter, and thereby more fuel-efficient and cost-competitive.
The value segment - which some manufacturers call the 'commuter premium' segment - has always been Bajaj Auto's bugbear. It has been unable to make inroads into this turf on which Hero MotoCorp accounts for three out of every four bikes sold. Bajaj has in the past tried to crack this market with models like the Caliber and the Wind but had little success.
Bajaj Auto managing director & CEO Rajiv Bajaj was unavailable for comment.