Bajaj closing gap on Honda, will be leader in sports bike segment: R Bajaj | Autocar Professional


Rajiv Bajaj – the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto says the company is on the verge of grabbing leadership in the sports bike segment in India and closing the gap with its Japanese rival Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India in the 125 cc and above motorcycle category.   

Bajaj asserted that the ‘two pronged’ approach in the sports bike segment – with its range of products – i.e. Pulsar and Dominar along with its partnership products – KTM, Husqvarna and Triumph, have helped the company come close to Honda.

Speaking at the launch of its biggest ever Pulsar NS400Z on Friday, the MD of India’s biggest two-wheeler exporter said, “Bajaj and Honda are neck to neck in the 125 cc category and above. We were lagging behind them quite a bit – as Indians, we feel very proud – that there are no Indian companies who have done it in the car segment, but in the motorcycle space, there is an Indian company in the 125 cc and above (which) is on the verge of leadership in the sports motorcycle segment.”

In the financial year 2022-23, Bajaj Auto sold 1.16 million units versus Honda Motorcycle & Scooters’ 1.45 million units with a gap of 2.9 lakh units. In FY24, Bajaj Auto narrowed the gap to 1 lakh units with sales of 1.55 million units versus Honda’s 1.65 million units.

During the last financial year, Bajaj Auto introduced Triumph range of 400 cc motorcycles which brought in incremental sales and with the addition of the all new Pulsar 400 range of products, it hopes to go ahead of the Japanese two-wheeler maker.

Bajaj clarified that if one looks at the Vahan vehicle registration data, the gap is even closer, he added, “If you see the Vahan data last month, that suggests our market share is about 32% neck to neck with Honda.”

While it is bracing for a leadership position in the 125 cc motorcycle segment and above, Bajaj claims there is huge headroom to grow at the top end of the pie – or the mid-size motorcycle segment above 250-350 cc, where about 1 million vehicles are sold annually and Bajaj has just 25% share. 

The newly launched Pulsar NS400Z along with additional variants on the same platform and the updated Dominar motorcycle which is lined up for later in the year will help Bajaj Auto grow its volumes.

“We feel quite confident about this two-pronged approach of Bajaj of our own brands and partnership brands – we should continue to march forward,” he asserted.  

The MD of Bajaj claims that the “two pronged” approach has been adopted across all segments of the market it participates in – right from electric scooters to three-wheelers and commuter bikes to the premium motorcycle segment, which will help them build its stronghold across segments.   

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