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Bajaj’s gamble with Discover 150 pays off

Despite hiccups, Bajaj Auto’s yet another gamble with the Discover brand has paid off. Launched nearly four months ago, the stylish Discover 150 has become a runaway success for the Pune-based company, with customers lining up for an upgrade.

Being the fourth model under the Discover banner, the bike is the cheapest motorcycle in its class, and faces competition from five companies that share more than a dozen models between them. 

With the exception of the Bajaj Pulsar 150, Honda Unicorn and Yamaha FZ are the two highest selling models in this segment, together controlling more than a third of the market. However, the Pulsar 150 remains the largest selling bike in the 150cc class, with a share of more than 30%. 

Brand Discover, which generates more than half of the sales for Bajaj Auto’s domestic two-wheeler business, is the highest selling brand for the company. The brand has models stretching from economy (100cc) to premium (150cc) categories, with a total of eight variants.

Introduced in three variants, Bajaj claims to have sold 70,000 units of the Discover 150 in three months, making it one of the best-selling bikes in its class. With sales at little over 25,000, the model now accounts for a third of Discover’s sales every month. Discover 150 has even trumped the Pulsar 135, the smallest from the Pulsar line.  

Market watchers say one of the reasons why the new Discover has been a success is because of its pricing. At Rs 51,720, the Discover 150 is positioned close to India’s best-selling bike Hero Splendor. One of the better selling Splendor models sell for Rs 48,000, albeit on much lower specifications levels.

While the Splendor is powered by a 100cc powerplant, the Discover 150 comes with a 150cc engine. In addition to higher power, the Bajaj bike gets tubeless tyres, digital meter and nitrox suspension system. 

A claimed on-road mileage of 60kms per litre by the Discover 150 is close to the mileage given by most 100cc or 125cc bikes.  The bike’s sportier and stylish half fairing, company officials say, is the biggest draw. 

Eric Vaz, president (motorcycle business), Bajaj Auto said, “We did not expect the half fairing version to have such a demand. We were struggling to meet its demand in the initial few weeks. In the 150cc class there is no other bike which comes with a fairing”

The half fairing version is the top-end model costing around Rs 59,000. According to Vaz, more than 50% of sales of the bike comes from the half fairing version. “We hit a high of 30,000 units and we expect the volumes to stabilise at around 25,000 units per month from here on.”

But will the Discover 150 beat the blues of the past where Bajaj Auto has failed to keep the success of a particular model going? The company has not only launched and progressively phased out series of models over the years but one-time best sellers have also found it difficult to maintain their consistencies. 


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