Most EV brands have come to us to sell their company: Bajaj Auto

Bajaj Chetak

Bajaj Auto has stayed one step ahead of its rivals by coming up with a differentiated portfolio of offerings and by exploring new markets and segments. As India’s two-wheeler industry undergoes a massive transformation with the entry of new players and a shift to EV technology, Rakesh Sharma, the company’s executive director and one of the key figures in India’s two wheeler landscape, discusses the brand’s strategy for the future, including its EV playbook.

  1. Bajaj will not reduce EV prices due to the end of FAME II subsidies
  2. Focus on building capacity in R&D, manufacturing, distribution and more
  3. Start-ups have approached Bajaj, other legacy players to sell their EV brand

When asked about Bajaj’s pricing strategy now that FAME II subsidies have ended, Sharma said that the brand is not volumetric and that “this is a marathon”. Speaking to our sister publication Autocar Professional, Sharma said, “It is not difficult for Bajaj Auto to cut prices and get volumes. But is it a long-term sustainable position? If it’s not, then there’s no point chasing it. We’re in the top 3 because it is important from a customer recognition point of view. But our focus remains on building capability – in R&D, manufacturing, vendor ecosystem, distribution and the brand.”

He continued with, “As the market expands and some kind of equilibrium is reached, other players will also have similar strategic imperatives of not dressing it up. Most of the people [two-wheeler EV start-ups] have come to us to sell their company and I’m sure they have gone to other legacy players as well. The nature of the field right now is such that it’s not at equilibrium. We’ll thrust forward as the equilibrium comes.”

The Chetak brand was revived four years ago, and Bajaj has been bringing out updates and new variants for the e-scooter quite regularly. The latest came in the form of the Bajaj Chetak 2901, which is priced from Rs 95,998 (ex-showroom, India), targets a younger audience and features five new colours and a metal body. This new affordable Chetak variant costs Rs 51,000 less than the top-spec Performance trim.

With inputs from Ketan Thakkar 

Also see:

Next-gen Bajaj Dominar to be more upmarket

Bajaj Chetak Premium video review

Bajaj CNG bike launch on July 5

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