Who is the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world? One of the Big Four maybe (Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, & Yamaha), that is after all what their name implies, right? Maybe you think it is a European manufacturer, like BMW or Triumph? If these were any of your answers, thank you for playing, but please try again.
With Japanese manufacturers closing their books on the 2011 fiscal year, the counting of the bikes sold worldwide has closed, and Bajaj Auto is now officially the world’s third largest motorcycle brand by volume. Behind only Honda (the world’s largest motorcycle brand) and Hero MotoCorp (India’s largest motorcycle brand), who are first and second respectively, Bajaj sold a total of 3.8 million units in 2011.
Make no mistake that its domestic market is a critical, large, and growing, but Bajaj’s success is not limited to India alone. Exporting 1.27 million units abroad, that figure from equates to over one-third of Bajaj’s sales coming from other markets, which helps Bajaj account for 10% of all motorcycles sold globally.
Leading these sales is the Bajaj Dream, which sold 1.5 million unit last year. Also helping the bottom line is Bajaj’s 47% ownership of KTM, which continues to find traction outside of its European borders. Looking to expand in the coming years, Bajaj hopes to account for 30% of the world’s motorcycle sales, and already is the market leader in 12 of the 35 countries it exports into.
Bajaj Auto has truly followed its own ad campaign, “Gaadi bula rahi hai…” Seems the company did not just make the song its jingle, but also taken the “gaadi” and covered a long way! It’s a remarkable journey from Chetak to range of motorcycles across the world. Pulsar and Discover, two of its most coveted names, have given the company a sales figure that crosses 5 million. Bajaj Pulsar is “Distinctly Ahead” than any other bike in India. While Bajaj Discover can easily be the second largest motorcycle name that sells. Reports say Discover sold almost 1.5 million units in the FY 2011-2012 in India.
Africa seems to be in love with Bajaj Boxer; the name is the largest selling one in Africa. While Latin America ranks Pulsar 135 LS among the top selling motorcycles. Bajaj Auto is, as of now, easily leading the market in 12 countries of the 35 where it exports. Honda ACE CB 125, a bike from Honda’s stable, gets tough competition from Boxer in Africa.
While the American market continues to bicker over Harley-Davidsons vs. Metrics, Indian motorcycle manufacturers like Bajaj and Hero are quietly positioning themselves to be the next industry leaders worldwide.