Rajiv Bajaj, Bajaj Auto's Managing Director admitted that launching the 100 cc Discover was the "biggest blunder" of his career.
The 100 cc Bajaj variant was launched after receiving moderate success on the Discover 125 cc variant.
Bajaj noted that the Discover was a differentiating product when it was launched in 125-cc format, "offering mileage with a little fun," which was evident from the rising volumes.
Bajaj back then was referred to as the country's second largest motorcycle brand in terms of bike volumes. Rajiv Bajaj rued that the company was still the No. 2 player (in terms of bikes volumes) in the country because of the mistake it had made with the lower variant launch of the Discover and. He said that things would have been different if it hadn't done so.
Bajaj was quoted in a <i>PTI</i> report as saying, "Greed came in. Marketing people said if the 125-cc Discover sells so much then how many would a 100-cc Discover sell? We went ahead and made the 100-cc Discover. We lost our position and five years later we lost our performance too."
"We started off as a point of difference, with a different perception and a USP, but we ended up being a 'me too' product. Me too is bad in life and marketing," he said while speaking at an event.
However, Bajaj is confident of the partnership with KTM, a racing brand that the company invested in 2007. He said when Bajaj Auto invested in KTM in 2007, it was making only 65,000 motorcycles and was considered the second largest European motorcycle brand. On the other hand Harley Davidson was averaging 305,000 units.
But that is no longer the case with declining Harley sales estimated to finish at 204,000 units this year. KTM on the contrary is looking to finish with 207,000 units.
Bajaj Auto which has been toying with the idea of a four-wheeler e-vehicle is looking forth to a major launch in the coming year. Rajiv Bajaj lamented that the e-vehicle industry was given a step-motherly treatment. He referred to the industry launching cheap variants. In this reference he admitted that the company could "have made a Tesla on two-wheels or a Tesla on three-wheels and created different news."
"We will try and do that in 2019 now," he said.
With Agency Inputs