Pune-based Bajaj Auto launched Dominar 400, a sports cruiser with a 373cc to the turf of Royal Enfield on December 15. Royal Enfield holds nearly 95 percent of the 350cc motorcycle market with the Classic 350 and Thunderbird 350. Bajaj marked its presence in the segment with Dominar cloaking 3000 unit sales in January. However, Royal Enfield does't seem to be worried with the arrival of the new rival.
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"When one succeeds in a segment, others try to enter and take a bite. Of course, there will be competition but we are not worried," Siddhartha Lal, managing director and chief executive officer of Eicher Motors (parent company of Royal Enfield) told Business Standard.
When Bajaj Auto launched Dominar 400, Rajiv Bajaj managing director of the brand said that the "segment that has an existing tall leader (Enfield). This segment is not open for anyone to simply enter and walk away with the market. One has to be the opposite of what the market leader is." Bajaj Auto hopes to sell 4,000 units in February and then gradually take it up to the stated monthly target of 10,000 units. With Bajaj Auto's plan to launch more motorcycle models under Dominar brand, it is clear that the 350cc segment is going witness a new battle between these two Indian bike makers.
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Even though the Bajaj Dominar 400 and Royal Enfield Classic/Thunderbird 350 cater to the same segment, both companies have unique design approaches that are poles apart. The Dominar 400 is a sports cruiser highlighted with low-slung stance, sculpted body panels, fat rear tyre and LED head lamps. On the other hand, Royal Enfield models have a retro-styling with spoke wheels, minimum fairing and most notable thumping exhaust note.
Lal says Royal Enfield offers a typical style of motorcycle which is not for all. "People who like us will come to us. We will continue to work on the brand, retail and marketing. People who are part of the Royal Enfield family continue to stick to the brand. They like what we do after we sell them the motorcycle," he explained while ruling out worry over the Bajaj Auto arrival.
Source: Business Standard