Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Bajaj Chetak Nostalgia - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror

It’s interesting that all this nostalgia is spilling now, a few years after the Chetak was discontinued, simply because Rajiv Bajaj chose to make a big deal about the demise of the uninspired Kristal. It almost seems like the whole brouhaha was calculated to spite his father. No one will really miss the Kristal, but the decision is important on a symbolic level, and it seems strange to absolutely rule out future scooter production. Which makes me even more positive that a retro Chetak is imminent, ha. Then again, LML has that market pretty well covered now. - 2strokebuzz

Son rise , News - Latest - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror

Finally, the generation gap has caught up with Rahul Bajaj! The two-wheeler giant Bajaj Auto will now stop making scooters, and the old man is not happy with his son and Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj’s decision to exit production of scooters.

It is the end of an era and the demise of a philosophy: that two-wheelers were meant to move from point A to B. Today, it is the age of the fast bikes. And our inhouse expert agrees with the company’s new ideology.

Group chairman and Rajiv’s father, Rahul Bajaj has made his feelings clear about the scooters’ forthcoming demise. “I feel bad, I feel hurt.

I can’t say harm the company and its shareholders by doing something you should not do... But I am still not convinced. He [Rajiv] has tried to explain it to me,” were his exact words.

However, the young MD rebuffed the emotional outburst by saying: “I care less for the solution from emotions, I believe more in the magic of logic.

Brands that are more sharply positioned are brands that are more profitable... It [scooter] is not a really profitable market.”

For an expert’s opinion on this situation, Pune Mirror talked to Adil Jal Darukhanawala, editor of zigwheels. com. He said: “Rajiv Bajaj’s decision to stop production of scooters is a sound businessman’s move.

The type of scooters Bajaj used to make have become a relic of the old times; one hardly sees them on the road anyway.

Motorcycles are the hot wheels of today and the future.” He added, “"Nostalgia is one thing and the hard reality is something else.

Agreed, the company was formed to manufacture scooters. Its first scooter model Chetak was launched in 1972 and remained its flagship model right until the mid-90s.

Bajaj stopped manufacturing Chetak four years ago. The 100-cc gearless Kristal will be phased out by the current fiscal. But all said and done, a company has to focus on the global trends and move with the times.”

“The Pulsar was conceived to offer a much-needed sporty alternative and that did the trick for Bajaj both from a motorcycle point of view as well as a financial stand point,” Darukhanawala said.

He added, “India is the second largest 2-wheeler market with about 7 million bikes being produced annually, with China topping the list with an output of 12 million.

Out of India's 7-million annual output of two-wheelers, 5.5 million comprises motorbikes and the rest of the 1.5 million is made up of scooters, scooterettes and mopeds.

So, it only makes some solid sense to look at the bigger game rather than being a petty hunter. The way the company is structuring its business by having the largest, most robust R&D in the country, says a lot about the direction it’s taking," Darukhanawala signed off.

All that is best summed up in Rajiv Bajaj’s words, “Bharat has changed, Buland has changed, Bajaj has changed.”

No comments:

Post a Comment