Bajaj Auto is now “The World’s Favourite Indian”!

Yes, “The World’s Favourite Indian” is the new Brand Identity for Bajaj Auto Ltd; which was announced today. 

  •  New identity reflects transition of brand Bajaj from being a domestic scooter maker to a global motorcycle player in 17 years.
  • 40% contribution to revenue coming from sales to over 70 countries
  • India’s No.1 in motorcycle exports – 2 out of every 3 bikes exported now carry the Bajaj badge.
  • Achieves milestone 2mn unit exports in 2018
Bajaj’s New Brand Identity

The launch of the Pulsar from its Chakan plant in 2001 marked the beginning of this riveting global ride. Building on its ‘Hamara Bajaj’ roots of providing reliable mobility solutions, the company has significantly invested in technology and innovation to design motorcycles that are sold not only in India but 70 countries around the world. It has grown to become India’s No.1 motorcycle exporter with 2 out of 3 bikes carrying a Bajaj badge. 40% of the company’s revenue is coming from international markets. It has earned USD 13bn of forex in the last 10years and hit a milestone 2mn units of international sales in 2018.

With 15 million motorcycles sold in over 70 countries, Bajaj Auto has set a benchmark for the ‘Make in India’ vision of the government. With availability and customer preference scaling from Russia and Malaysia to Argentina and Mexico, it is today possibly the largest Indian brand name in terms of customer purchase value.

Commenting on this journey, Mr Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director said, “Our international performance is validation of our strategy of focus and differentiation. Our unwavering commitment towards building the best motorcycles in the world through design, technology, quality and customer satisfaction have made us a truly global brand. Bajaj brand is not only The World’s Favourite Indian, but also perhaps the most illustrious ambassador for Make in India initiative of the Indian government.”

He further added, “In only 17 years since the launch of Pulsar, we have become the third-largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, ahead of several Japanese and European brands that have been around for much longer. In any market around the world, when people think of motorcycles, they should think of Bajaj. That would help us achieve our vision of being a Global Motorcycle Specialist.”

Outdoor Plan

The new brand identity would be communicated through a aggressive marketing campaign featuring TV, outdoor, print and digital media. The retail showrooms of Bajaj Auto motorcycles and commercial vehicles will also undergo a transformation with new signage and branding in line with the message of The World’s Favourite Indian.

Showroom Transformations to be aligned with New Brand Guidelines

Over 22 Lakh Wagon R sold till date in India!

Maruti Suzuki has sold 22,14,544 Wagon-R’s in the past 19 years in the Indian market!

Wagon-R was primarily launched by Maruti Suzuki to counter Hyundai’s tallboy car Santro. While Santro established brand Hyundai in the sub-continent; Wagon R worked out to be equally significant to Maruti Suzuki India. The Suzuki Wagon R was primarily a kei car produced by the Japanese manufacturer Suzuki since 1993. The R in the name stands for Recreation. Wagon R was one of the first cars to use the “tall wagon” or “tall boy” design, in which the car is designed to be unusually tall with a short bonnet and almost vertical hatchback, and sides in order to maximize the cabin space while staying within the kei car dimension restrictions.


Maruti is now preparing to launch the Next-Gen Wagon R in the Indian market on Jan 23rd 2019. While the erstwhile Wagon R had a visible Tall-Boy characteristic; the upcoming Wagon R has been designed a bit more curvy. Built on Suzuki’s 5th-generation Heartect platform, the new Wagon R gets matte black grille at the front and lower bumper and completely redesigned tall headlights. The car also gets floating roof design as seen on the Swift and the Ertiga. The new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R will be available in 7 variants and 4 of them will have Maruti’s coveted AGS automatic gearbox – LXi 1.0L, VXi 1.0L, VXi AGS 1.0L, VXi 1.2L, VXi AGS 1.2L, ZXi 1.2L and ZXi AGS 1.2L.

Next Gen Wagon R completely revealed

Will the New Wagon-R continue the sales run it earlier generation enjoyed? Will the upcoming model stand true for the tall boy characteristics and give unparalleled space and practicality as earlier? Will the pricing be as attractive? Lot of questions which shall be answered on 23rd Jan.

A look at the historical sales data of the Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R:

  • Wagon-R is one of the few models which is present in the Indian market for nearly 19 years!
  • It has sold an average of 9,756 units/mth in the past 227 months. Rare to see such sales performance!
  • The highest volume Wagon R had sold was 17,119 units in the month of June 2014.
  • 2016 was the year where the highest number of Wagon-R’s were sold (in a year). Maruti recorded 1,73,286 units of Wagon-R’s sold in that year!

Top 10 Passenger Vehicle OEMs for 2018 – China

Probably, you may be thinking on why are we covering Chinese Car Sales for 2018? – The reasons are:

  1. To highlight the magnitude of car sales in China. The Top 2 OEMs sold more cars than all OEMs combined in India! However; if you notice China’s Top OEM SAIC_VW sold over 20 Lakh cars and was only 3 Lakhs more than India’s Biggest Carmaker (Maruti has sold 17,31,179 cars in 2018).
  2. If all SAIC Brand Collaborations are combined together (VW+GM+Wuling); SAIC as a group sold a whopping 53,90,980 cars!!! With SAIC entering the Indian market this year (in name of MG Motors) – It shall be interesting to see how the Chinese OEM grab a considerable pie here.
  3. VW is the dominant brand otherwise. Its tie-up with SAIC & FAW combined garnered a sale of over 41 Lakh units last year. Considering VW’s India sales, VW is doing negligilbe volumes in Indian market.

December 2018 Two Wheeler Sales – Snapshot

A look at YoY Growth of the Two Wheeler OEMs and the Industry –

  • De-growth in the Two Wheeler Industry is a bad sign. The Two Wheeler Industry had been pretty immune to price hikes, stock market volatility, rupee depreciation – However drop in the sales means that the increase in Insurance Prices, Negative Consumer sentiment in Rural Markets, has highly affected two wheeler sales.
  • Another trend which is seen primarily this year is drop in Bike Segment – Clearly visible in Honda’s sales drop. India’s love for scooters slowly seems to be wading down. In this Financial Year; while the motorcycle segment grew a healthy 13%; scooters could grow only 5%. Also Honda now faces stiff competition from TVS, Suzuki & Yamaha in scooters segment. Quoting ET Article – Experts said urban buyers are deferring plans to buy scooters due to the rise in the cost of ownership. “Unlike motorcycles, which are used for daily commute by small businessmen and farmers in rural areas, scooters are family vehicles,” explained Ashish Kale, president of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations. “Scooters are more often a second two-wheeler used by the women in families in urban areas. With fuel prices and insurance costs increasing last year, many such buyers put off discretionary purchases, slowing down scooter sales.”

  • Bajaj has clearly been the biggest gainer this year! The OEMs price revision of its models has worked magic for the brand and the Motorcycle maker has grew impressively in terms of volumes.
  • Royal Enfield has been struggling off late and the erstwhile poster boy has now revised (reduced) its year sales estimates. While we see that the OEM is slowly losing its royalty and the segment is shrinking; new players such as Jawa pose a bigger threat as well.




Market Share Graph:

  • Top 4 OEMs (Hero, Honda, TVS & Bajaj) command 88.3% of the Market Share – Crazy!

2018 – Slowdown in luxury car market growth

In 2018, luxury car market has grown at the slowest rate compared to last 10 years. Only, if we overlook 2016 growth rate because of one-off exceptional event, when 2000cc + diesel engine cars were banned for limited period in New Delhi.

Growth rate has moderated, from being exponential during the period of 2009-2013, to more linear in last five years (2014-2018).





GDP growth rate in last 5 years has remained a mixed bag. So, in economic terms what could be the possible reason for luxury car market’s phenomenal growth rate tapering in recent past?

  • Has propensity of conspicuous consumption come down? This cannot be true, given the past growth trend. So answer lies somewhere else.

Either

  • World’s fastest growing large economy is not creating enough wealth (read – $ Millionaires/$ Billionaires) to fuel demand for luxury cars.

Or

  • Wealth is getting concentrated in hands of few, indicating economic prosperity is not very wide spread.

Or

  • GDP growth data is not in line with ground reality.

For relative reference we looked at how Indian Luxury car market leaders are performing in world’s largest car market – China.

In 2007, Mercedes Benz China were selling 3 times more car than Mercedes Benz India, now in a decade time, it reached to almost 30 times.





Audi China is selling more cars in a month then whole Indian luxury car market combined annually. To put things in perspective, Audi China (Luxury car maker) annual sales is higher than India’s second largest car manufacturer Hyundai India (mass market player with ~16% market share).





BMW though 3rd in German manufacturer ranking in China, is still churning phenomenal numbers.

This data set shows how world’s second largest economy has created huge wealth and exponential luxury car market growth rate shows penetration level is high, indicating wide spread prosperity.

To understand economic relation and for apple to apple comparison, a more suitable economic indicator is considered over here – $ GDP per capita. Since India and China has very close population size, higher GDP size of China shows Chinese are relatively more wealthy and prosperous, which reflects in their purchasing power.

Till late 80s, India’s and China’s economic progress was comparable too, but after that, with rapid transformation, China achieved exponential growth rate.

For now, Chinese economy is reaching a saturation level and struggling to find newer growth engine, but it is something which is bound to happen.

Indian GDP per capita has very long way to go and so is luxury car market size. Luxury car makers and their component suppliers need to carefully plan their expansion plans in India. What one couldn’t ignore during planning phase is, Indian economy, too, is highly vulnerable to global economic churning due to trade war, gradually slowing Chinese economy and its impact on world economy and last but not the least, volatile and unpredictable global crude oil prices.



Major Luxury Car Manufacturers Sales data at a Glance

(The article is written by Rohan Rishi. You can connect with him at emailrohanrishi@gmail.com)

Luxury Car Sales – 2018

  • The Luxury Car Sales too had a tough time in 2018 and 2 biggies – Audi & Mercedes reported a negative and stagnant growth respectively. The overall industry could grow a modest 3% in 2018 vs 2017.
  • Mercedes-Benz retains the No.1 position for the year 2018. However; the YoY was growth was stagnant and couldn’t gain any significant increase in volumes during 2018.
  • BMW+Mini had an impressive 2018 and grew 13% which was the highest growth reported in the Top 3 OEMs. BMW is currently on a product offensive and has a lineup of 12 launches in 2019 as well. Hope the German OEM gives a tough competition to its other German counterpart (Mercedes).
  • Volvo has given not only safe; but beautiful cars as well recently. XC40, XC90, V40 cross, S60; etc – The lineup is now comprehensive and is well accepted in terms of looks and features. The Chinese owned (Geely) brand is slowly and steadily gaining volumes.
  • Tata owned JLR too did a moderate 16% growth and was only 404 units short of 5k.

Harley Davidson LiveWire – Harley’s first-ever electric motorcycle!

Harley breaks the mold and opens its doors to the rest of us with a solid product strategy

– Opened pre-bookings for the electric LiveWire which costs US $ 29,799

– Expect it to cost ~Rs. 40-50 lakh if it comes to India via the CBU route

– Revealed specs of the LiveWire

– LiveWire deliveries to commence in September 2019

– Showcased electric scooter concept for urban mobility

– Showcased electric off-road trail bike concept

An electric naked street fighter with a supercar-like 3.5-second 0-100kmph time is nothing to scoff at regardless of who makes it. It’s far more impressive considering that this crotch rocket wears the Harley-Davidson badge. The motorcycle maker is known for its laid-back cruisers with old-school push-rod V-twins and loud pipes.

As Harley’s target audience of baby boomers shrinks, they’re looking to excite the youth and get young blood on two wheels.

The LiveWire already has a production plan. The scooter and the trials bike are still only concepts. But if their production avatars end up sharing the floor with the LiveWire, that will mean a whole new direction for Harley-Davidson.

While their bikes may have different personalities, they’re all seen as cruisers. There’s no need to get the Iron 883 and the Road Glide as they both pretty much do the same thing. But a scooter, a street naked, and a trail bike are so different that a single owner could have all three in his/her garage and easily justify spending the cash. The scooter can do the grocery runs in style. The LiveWire can take you to office and back through curvy canyon roads. The lightweight trail bike will let you have fun off the road. Judging by the looks of that thing, it appears pretty hardcore and may not even sneeze at a rocky trail.

It’s nothing new and many automakers do it. Ducati, for example, has the stylish Scrambler for weekend breakfast rides, the Monster for commuting, the Multistrada for touring, and the Panigale for the track. The fact that it’s coming from Harley-Davidson makes it noteworthy.

Whether we get to see the two concepts in production form or not will greatly depend on the success of the LiveWire. It’s a big-ticket product for only the early adopters. It’s certainly a good strategy to have a small number of customers to satisfy should something go wrong. A new product with new technology is bound to have teething issues. With a big price tag, it’s going to have a smaller number of paying beta testers and limited success. A positive response from the earliy adopters should help clear the path for the other two concepts, which are not only going to be more refined but also more affordable. Which is how it should be because the mass market is neither prepared nor willing to become a guinea pig.



Harley-Davidson LiveWire Specs

– 0-100kmph in 3.5 seconds

– 177km range per charge

– Adjustable front and rear suspensions from Showa

– Michelin Scorcher tires

– 4.3-inch touchscreen console

– Available in orange, lime green, and black

– 20km per hour charge rate regardless of whether you connect to 110v (level1) or 220v (level 2)

2018 Car Sales Statistics – India

Modelwise Car Sales Statistics for 2018 –





Top 25 selling models of the year 2018 are –





Top Selling Compact Sedans of 2018:





Top Selling Compact SUVs of 2018:





Top Selling Sedans of 2018:

Best Selling Car of 2018 – Maruti Dzire!

Maruti Dzire dethrones Maruti Alto after 13 years; and emerges as India’s highest selling car of 2018!

In a reflection to consumers preference over bigger cars; Dzire emerged as the Sub-continent’s best seller. It is the first time in the Indian Automotive history a compact sedan would’ve been throned as the nation’s best selling car. Dzire sold 2,64,612 units in 2018, a growth of 17.6 percent over 2017 and was higher than Alto’s tally of 2,56,661 units that was stagnant over the previous year. Dzire has been closing in on the Alto over the last 3 years showcasing a growing trend among consumers to opt for bigger, more feature rich cars against bare bones entry level models that depend on lower price point.



A look at the Top 10 Selling Cars of Year 2018 –

  • Dzire’s facelift in May 2017 has helped it register all time high sales.
  • Alto is now under its peak annual sales of 2011 when it hit 3,11,367 units and also now became the best selling small car in the world in a single market between 2011-14.
  • Swift and Baleno did impressive volumes each and crossed >2 Lakh sales in Calendar Year 2018. The time is not far where these cars shall overtake Alto volumes as well! Also to note here that both Swift & Baleno clearly outsell its much cheaper sibling Celerio.
  • The tall boy Wagon R had a forgettable year dropping out of the top 5 for the first time ever with a 8.9 percent decline in sales at 1,52,020 units. It was replaced by the company’s compact SUV Brezza in the top five. However, the refreshed Wagon R is expected to change the scenario this year.
  • Value Conscious Indian buyer is now ready to spend higher – Hyundai’s Elite i20 for example found more customers at 1,41,104 units than the Grand i10 that clocked 134,249 units.