Next-generation Bajaj Chetak scooter not likely, hints Rajiv Bajaj

In a statement made at the company’s recently conducted Annual General Meeting, Rajiv Bajaj once again quashed all rumours about a new-generation Bajaj Chetak scooter being in the pipeline. Electric power is the way the company is likely to go, for scooters, if and when they decide to get back into the segment.

According to a report in a news daily, Bajaj said, “We voted for risk 20 years ago. The choice was between staying safe with scooters in India or taking risks and making motorcycles for the world. We voted for that risk. We are set to export 2 million vehicles to over 70 countries across the world in the current fiscal from almost nothing a decade ago.”

With this, it has once again become very clear that the popular Indian two-wheeler manufacturer currently has no plans of entering the scooter segment. The last automatic scooter that Bajaj launched was the Kristal, which fared poorly on the sales charts and was soon pulled off the shelves. While Rajiv Bajaj has once again reiterated his plans of staying focused on motorcycles, the company does plan to come up with a range of electric-powered two-wheelers. The company will also launch a range of new-gen motorcycles, which will include new models for the very popular Pulsar line-up of motorcycles.

Back in the day, Bajaj Auto Ltd used to dominate the scooter market with the Chetak geared scooter. While geared scooters lost out to motorcycles in terms of popularity, the automatic scooter segment has witnessed some strong growth in the last few years. The Honda Activa, which is the largest selling automatic scooter in India, has been so popular that it has often managed to outsell the Hero Splendor on a monthly basis. Bajaj Auto Ltd, however, has been largely absent from this segment.

Bajaj has also revealed that his company produces more than 1 lakh KTM motorcycles annually, which is as much as 40% of the Austrian bike maker’s yearly output. By the year 2020, Bajaj Auto Ltd will also bring in the Husqvarna brand of motorcycles. These motorcycles will share production space with KTM and Bajaj-branded products at the Chakan-based manufacturing facility. Bajaj is also very close to finalising a contract with Triumph, which will see the two manufacturers leveraging each other’s skills to come up with a world-class low-capacity motorcycle.

Source – Times of India