Bajaj continues to target Royal Enfield with its Dominar 400 sports cruiser.
Bajaj Auto originally planned to launch a sports cruiser in the form of the Pulsar CS 400 but decided to change the brand name of the product as the Pulsar name is associated with sub 220cc, street motorcycles which offer value for money performance. Bajaj wanted to eat into Royal Enfield’s growing pie in the 300-500cc segment and decided to launch the Dominar 400 as an alternative to the Classic 350 (because that bike accounts for 80% of sales of the British brand).
Setting an ambitious target of selling 10,000 units a month, Bajaj is far from achieving it and has started to aggressively market the Dominar 400 to boost sales. The Pulsar marker has been upfront about doing comparisons with rivals, they did the Saddle Swap with the Avenger and Royal Enfield bikes while Dominar 400 vs Royal Enfield (Mumbai to Goa and back) was recently done too.
Now, in its latest TVC, Bajaj has gone ahead and called Royal Enfield bikes as elephants – slow, heavy and unreliable while highlighting the Dominar 400’s superior technology, better handling and faster performance. The less than half KTM owners are promoting the Dominar as a ‘Hyper Riding’ machine but will this move help in boosting sales of the Bajaj flagship is something only time will tell.
Rajiv Bajaj and Siddhartha Lal (MD – Eicher Motors, the parent company of RE) are very good friends. While Rajiv Bajaj has said there is no rivalry between both brands as slow riders can pick Royal Enfield while the Dominar 400 is a fast bike. But he has also stated that he can’t compete with RE with the Pulsar brand and thus the requirement of a new brand like Dominar came to light. Meanwhile, Siddhartha Lal isn’t worried at all and with less than 1000 units of the Dominar sold last month, he doesn’t need to bother about this latest Dominar 400 TVC either.
A fun fact, if 9 years ago, you had decided to buy shares of Eicher Motors for Rs. 1,00,000/- (the price of the Bullet back then), today the value of those shares would be 100x, a.k.a Rs. 1 crore. So while many might not like the lack of technology, features and performance of the Classic or Bullet, nothing in the stock market is performing quite like Eicher Motors.
Royal Enfield vs Dominar 400
– Bajaj wants to eat into Royal Enfield’s market share
– The Dominar 400 is superior to Royal Enfield bikes in most ways
– Sales of the Classic are increasing on the back of history and desirability