After posting a 30 percent rise in sales last month, Rajiv Bajaj, the managing director of the company, is confident that Harley-Davidson's new plan in rolling out 250 CC bikes in India is not much of a threat.
“One can never underestimate any competitor and certainly not someone like Harley but I will stick my neck out and say this, I have learned, even from our own failures that the minute a brand steps out of its 'Laxman rekha’ it’s on a very thin ice," Bajaj said.
"To me, quite frankly, being a big loud motorcycle is intrinsic to Harley. A 250 cc is pipsqueak and I am not very worried about that right now,” Rajiv Bajaj said.Harley-Davidson on Tuesday announced a series of new models specifically for the Indian and Asian markets. The company is joining hands with an Asian manufacturer for this model and aims to launch the product line up including an all-new 250-500 cc motorcycle by 2022.
“I would again stick my neck out and say perhaps moves like that of Harley with a national partner, whoever it is, is perhaps once again taking into account the fact that Bajaj and Triumph are coming together. So it seems to me as if Bajaj is setting the agenda for motorcycle makers across the world,” he said.
The company, after releasing its sales performance, is planning to raise its prices for the second time in September.
Price war business is completely overdone, Bajaj said, adding that the company increased prices in July and they are planning further raise in September.
"I have heard the same news coming from Hero. So when people are talking about price war, I think only half of it is true. There is no price element to this war but definitely there is a war,” Bajaj said.
Bajaj Auto, in an analyst call, had reportedly expressed its intentions to go for aggressive pricing, compromising margins in order to dominate the market.
The automotive major posted a 30 percent rise in July sales, despite an increase by one lakh units on a year-on-year basis, at four lakh, close to Nomura's expectation of 3.97 lakhs.
The auto company's domestic sales surged to 27 percent to 2.37 lakh units as compared to the 1.86 lakh units posted in the corresponding period last year.
Getting into the specifics, the company's motorcycle sales rose by 25 percent to 3.32 lakh units, rising by nearly a lakh posted last year in the same period.
Bajaj said the company's popular motorcycles - Pulsar and CT - sales rose up by 40 percent and 80 percent respectively in the last month.
The three-wheeler sales for the company rose by 59 percent to 67,663 units as against the 42,545 units posted last year in July.
The exports sales rose by 34 percent at 1.63 lakh units, rising by 42,000 units posted last year in the same period.
The company is also expecting the sales to step up further in September, the time when the festive season will kick in.