At a time when demand for two-wheelers appears to be picking up in the Indian automotive industry, buoyed by the ongoing festivities, Rajiv Bajaj has sounded a word of caution and highlighted that a month of festivities may not be enough.
In an interview to a news channel on Monday, the MD of Bajaj Auto highlighted the challenges that continue to stare in the face of the two-wheeler industry in the country in particular. "If you speak of retails from the dealers to the customers, frankly we are all still waiting and watching. There is still a bit of a struggle. One festive month doesn't make a year's worth of sales," he said, adding that he would like to wait to see what pans out post festivities. "We have to extend some support or some sympathy, particularly to the MSMEs. Big companies like Bajaj Auto don't really need that support or sympathy. But my dealers for example, most of them, or my suppliers are not as robust and could certainly do with some support."
Bajaj also highlighted that the 100cc segment has fared poorly even if the 125cc to 200cc segment is doing comparatively better.
This is hardly the first time that Bajaj has raised concerns pertaining to the country's economic situation and has been especially critical of the manner in which the national lockdown was imposed back in March to curb the spread of Covid-19. "A large country like India cannot save itself out of trouble. It has to sail itself out of trouble. I cannot understand why there is no strong measure to lift the mood of people and give a strong stimulus to demand," he had told Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a video interaction back in June. "Everyone is trying to find the middle path but India not just went west, it went wild west. You have flattened the wrong curve, not the Covid-19 curve but the GDP curve." (Read full report here)
Bajaj's most-recent views on the 'grim' scenario' for the two-wheeler industry in particular, has been questioned by many who refer to record sales in October from manufacturers like Hero MotoCorp, TVS, Honda and Yamaha. Hero MotoCorp, in particular, sold over eight lakh motorcycles and scooters - 806,848 units - in the Indian market in the month of October, its highest ever sales in a single month. This was a 35% year-on-year growth from the same period in 2019. (Full report here)
The Bajaj MD, however, has sought to bring out the difference between wholesales - manufacturer to dealer, and retail sales - dealer to customer.