Apr 11, 2007

Bajaj's 250+ Plan musings


I was asked to comment on this by theslayer. All right, then, here goes. First read the original below. The article is from the Financial Express newspaper website (site | article). My comments are below.

Bajaj Auto to launch 250 cc plus bikes
CORPORATE BUREAU | FINANCIAL EXPRESS
Posted online: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 0000 hours IST

PANTNAGAR, APR 9: Bajaj Auto is all set to launch 250 cc-plus motorcycles in technical collaboration with its Japanese partner Kawasaki Motor shortly, Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said. These would be branded as Bajaj and would be sold through Bajaj dealers.

He, however, declined to give further details but said that a few bikes would be launched over the next two months. Asked if the company planned to import higher capacity bikes and sell in the domestic market he replied in the negative. He also declined any move to partner with Yamaha India on any project. Bajaj Auto currently sells its bikes in export markets like the Philippines though Kawasaki’s marketing network. The upcoming motorcycles would compete with the completely built units (CBUs) of Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda.

Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Ltd (HMSI) will also launch completely built units (CBUs) of higher capacity (500 cc) motorcycles in the next few years. Recently the company had said that it may assemble these bikes in the country to avoid the high import duty of 110%
It would make sense. I think Rajiv Bajaj does mean 250+. Most of you would recall that there was a rumour floating a while ago that Bajaj was readying the Ninja 250R for a launch. With the advent of the 220 at the Auto Expo, that rumour basically took the next available exit. However, that doesn't mean that if Bajaj were doing the Ninja, they stopped. The Kawasaki name coming in to that discussion can only mean that the Ninja 250 or its ilk should be heading for India.

So far Yamaha/Honda/Suzuki etc are all planning a CBU route entry for their big machines. The story is a bit vague, but if Bajaj is planning to make/assemble these in the country (remember, the Pantnagar plant will free up the Chakan plant a bit), then they just might eke out a crucial and devastating price advantage.

In the meantime, as I've said earlier, Bajaj has also spoken earlier about a 300-400cc platform that is in development. What I don't know is whether the Kawasaki collaborated platform is the same one, or if Bajaj effectively has two bigger displacement platforms in development.

Image from kawasaki.com

6 comments:

Gopalakrishnan said...

16" --> 17"
Keihin CVK30 x 2 --> FI
Color --> Kwacker Green

wish it happens and without the 220 delay

ciao
gr

Anonymous said...

Bajaj has been showing the Kawasaki Ninja 250 at various Auto Expos for the last 10 years. And while the Ninja 250 may be a vast improvement over what's available in India at present, it's actually a very old and outdated machine. Some foreign bike magazines have actually called it one of the worst Kawasakis ever made.

Bajaj should do two things. One, hurry up with its Pulsar 220 and do a nation-wide launch as soon as possible. Two, bring in a new, contemporary Kawasaki like the ER-6n and/or the ZX-6R. For big bike enthusiasts, anything less than a modern supersports 600 doesn't make sense.

Keep up the good work. I love your blog!

;-)

theslayer said...

@anonymous: The "ZX-6R"?? the new one? WAt the.... Whoa...can't even comprehend what the motorcycling fraternity's reaction would be to something like that..so soon.. haha..

@rearset: Thanks for the opinion!

And..

"What I don't know is whether the Kawasaki collaborated platform is the same on, or if Bajaj effectively has two bigger displacement platforms in development."

"same on"? "Same one" isn't it?

Is it a possiblity? One platform with Kawasaki and the other with Yamaha? What is the point of the Yamaha-India, Bajaj collaboration then?

@gr: Your wish is mine too!

Anonymous said...

Not a good enough post man. You're acknowledging the news item, not commenting on it bro.

Lacks the bite in almost all your posts :D

That being said, time for a 30cc jump now? I guess my kids will ride a made-in-India Bajaj ZX14 :p

Oh wait, even that will be test marketed, right? Lemme pay the downpayment right now itself, before the wife is finalized - the bike should be sure :p :D

Gopalakrishnan said...

He, however, declined to give further details but said that a few bikes would be launched over the next two months

Gopalakrishnan said...

He, however, declined to give further details but said that a few bikes would be launched over the next two months

that puts this launch in the june/ july time frame

which is when the 220 is supposed to be launched

BAL moves in steps of 30 cc in about 6 years ... can they manage an additional 30 cc in 60 days :?

while it would be nice if the 250 did happen in June/July, I don't see both these events happening -

I think the 220 is more likely and will therefore get into waiting for 250 mode

or should that be waiting for A500 mode ;)

ciao
gr