Mar 4, 2011

4 Discover 125 to be launched in April 2011

Bajaj will launch one more Discover, this time in a 125 cc avatar.. and here is why I think its a good strategy

The Discover story so far:

Keeping it simple

Brand Discover..

..three variants (100/125/150) slightly different price points

When launched in 2004, the Discover had a 125 cc engine, which was later replaced with a 135 cc engine. Both these engines were developed on the Pulsar engine platform. In between there was also a 112 cc (based on the Caliber engine) Discover which existed for sometime. All these engines have now been replaced with a completely new engine platform that was originally developed for the XCD brand.

After the Pulsar, the Discover is Bajaj's most popular and well known motorcycle brand. So when the popular Discover brand got the frugal 100 cc engine (based on the XCD engine) in mid 2009, it turned out to be a perfect match for Bajaj Auto. The Discover 100 was in fact successful in bailing Bajaj Auto out of the bad 2008 recession.

2011 Edition Discover 100

2011 Edition Discover 100

The Discover 100 rides in..

When launched, the Discover 100 was priced at par with the best selling motorcycle in the world (and India), the Hero Honda Splendor. Even though on paper, the strategy for the Discover 100 (popular brand, good fuel efficiency, features like self start/5 gears, comparable pricing) appeared fine, I personally had some apprehensions on whether the 100 cc Discover strategy could work with the customer looking for a 100 cc motorcycle.

But after scripting sales records for Bajaj Auto for nearly 2 years, it has been proven without doubt that the Discover 100 has definitely clicked. be joined by the Discover 150

In April 2010, a 150 cc variant of the Discover was launched with front Disc brake and wider rear tyre. Although externally the bike looked almost same as the Discover 100, the price was stunning for a 150 cc motorcycle. At Rs. 48,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi), the Discover 150 still remains the most affordable 150 cc that one can buy in India.

To tell the truth, even for the Discover 150 I had my reservations on whether it could manage to become a sales success like the Discover 100. Currently the Discover 100 averages around 85,000 units in a month and the Discover 150 averages around 40,000 in a month. These numbers prove that the Discover 100/150 has managed to hit the right chord.

Discover 125 will now be here in April

According to Hindu BusinessLine, Bajaj will launch a 125 cc Discover in April. What is interesting is the pricing of the new Discover 125.

At Rs. 44,000 the drum brake variant of the Discover 125 will be just Rs. 1,000 dearer than the Discover 100 (Rs. 43,000 ex-showroom Delhi). The Discover 125 with disc brake is supposed to be priced at Rs. 47,000 which makes it just Rs. 1,000 cheaper than the Discover 150 (Rs. 48,000 ex-showroom Delhi)..!!

Business Line news article on the Discover 125

Does the Discover 100/125/150 cc variants make sense..??

Discover 100/125/150..?? Does it confuse too much..??

Well take a load of this then:

    [1] Yamaha FZ-16/S and Fazer = same engine/chassis but considered different brands.

    [2] Yamaha SZ/SZ-X/SZ-R = same bike with with additional features and paint scheme and at different price points.

    [3] Hero Honda CD Dawn/CD Deluxe/Splendor Pro/Passion Pro/Splendor NXG = same 97.2 cc engine but sold as totally different brands

In that case the Discover 100/125/150 is actually a simple concept. It is basically one single brand but with three engine options. Also with the Discover 100 and 150 sporting virtually the same looks, one cannot expect the Discover 125 to be cosmetically much different.

But is there a demand for a 125 cc Discover

With just Rs. 1,000 more (with Drum brakes) than the Discover 100 and Rs. 1,000 less (with Disc brakes) than the Discover 150, would the Discover 125 make a statement of its own?

I can't tell for sure but there would be some guys who are looking for something more than a 100 cc (for need of more engine grunt) but do not want to opt for a 150 cc (for the perception of lower fuel efficiency), for them a 125 cc Discover could make sense.

In any case it does not hurt if a Discover 100 or 150 intender wants to opt for the Discover 125 instead. In fact the overall sales pie for the Discover brand has more chances of getting bigger rather than shrinking in size.

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


melville said...

Here we go again....!

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent move by Bajaj.. plugs the gap as far as Discover lineup is concerned and also sets up a direct competition to Shine/Sling shot/YBR125/Super splendor/Glamour albeit with much stronger backing from Discover brand.. I would expect a serious dent in sales for the other 125cc bikes due to this launch. May be Bajaj could increase Disco 150's price by another couple of thousand rupees to avoid any confusion.. then that would be perfect for Discover brand.. I'm sure Bajaj would do it sooner than later.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


completely agree with you. The strong Discover brand can now try to bridge the gap between the 100 and 150 cc segments.

Anyway so far there is no clear favorite 125 cc motorcycle in India.

Anonymous said...

I would expect a serious dent in sales for the other 125cc bikes due to this launch. May be Bajaj could increase Disco 150's price by another couple of thousand rupees to avoid any confusion..

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