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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bajaj Auto launches Duke 390 ~ priced Rs.1.80 lakhs only...

Not long ago, most middle class depended on two-wheelers and scooters were once proud possession  ~ in fact were offered as dowries……… Bajaj Auto, yesterday launched its premium bike from the KTM platform at a price of Rs.1.80 lakh.  Not sure how this would enthuse you all…………


‘Hamara Bajaj’ was the most heard advertisements and Bajaj scooters were selling hot about a couple of decades ago.  Bajaj had its plant at Akurdi [no longer vehicles roll out from here] ~ now it has at Aurangabad and Uttaranchal. … There was the premium Bajaj Chetak, Super, Cub, Viking and more… 100 cc and 150 cc scooters with engines mounted on the side. Chetak was launched in 1972 and ruled the market for decades.  People used to wait for years after booking, vehicles were sold at a premium, some said they got it by paying in foreign currency which was extremely scarce those days.  Those were the days of Bajaj scooters which had sort of forced Lambrettas out of the market; then there were motor cycles of Rajdoot, Yezdi and Enfield Bullet.  With not many cars around, the 1980s & early 1990s were the age of two wheelers and their enthusiastic  riders.

Bajaj brand is known internationally and Bajaj Auto is one of the largest group founded in 1926 at the height of India's movement for independence from the British. Sri  Jamnalal Bajaj, founder of the group, was a close confidant and disciple of Mahatma Gandhi. KTM Sportmotorcycle AG is an Austrian motorcycle, bicycle and moped manufacturer. The company was founded in 1934 by engineer Hans Trunkenpolz in Mattighofen. It started out as a metal working shop and was named Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. In 1954 KTM began producing motorcycles.

Unlike Bajaj’s utility scooters, KTM is known for its off road motorcycles though in recent years it has expanded into street motorcycle production. The term off-road refers to a driving surface that is not conventionally paved. This is a rough surface, often created naturally, such as sand, gravel, a river, mud or snow. This type of terrain can sometimes only be travelled on with vehicles designed for off-road driving (such as SUVs, ATVs, snowmobiles or mountain bikes) or vehicles that have off-road equipment. KTM manufactures vehicles for these environments. KTM has a wide range of these.

Bajaj Auto,  the second largest bike manufacturer in India has now launched the second offering from the KTM stable, the Duke 390 for Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).  The  Duke 200 was launched  last year for Rs 1.18 lakh. The Duke 390 combines 43.5 bhk (break horse power) of  peak power, 35 Nm (newton metre) of torque and a host of features like ABS, Metzeler tyres, aluminum swing arm, aluminum alloy wheels. The six-speed transmission-enabled bike weighs 145 kg and has a fuel tank capacity of 10.2 litres.  At 373.2cc, the 390 Duke would be the first midsize sports bike in the country. Bookings for the Duke 390 would commence from June 26.

According to Bajaj Auto, the price is an introductory price. Bajaj has promised to launch a Pulsar on the Duke 390 platform later in the year. It would be the most powerful Pulsar yet from the company. The company had so far sold 11,000 KTM 200s since its launch, out of which 7,500 units were sold last fiscal, Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajeev Bajaj said after the launch.

Shares of Bajaj Auto are trading around 1780 now – below the 2200 mark in Jan earlier  this year….. the sentimens are bearish after workers at its Chakan plantwent on strike. It is stated that the Company has received a notice from the workmen's union of its Chakan plant viz., Vishwa Kalyan Kamgar Sanghatana stating that they propose to call for a stoppage of work by all the workmen employed in Chakan plant from the morning shift of June 28, 2013. However, the workmen have stopped coming to the Chakan plant from June 25, 2013. The management had refused to concede their demand that all the workmen working in Bajaj Auto should each be given an option to subscribe to 500 equity shares of the company at a discounted price of Re 1 per share.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th June 2013.


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