Bajaj to Skip Auto Expo 2016! Says too Expensive to Participate
In a complete turnaround of events this year, Bajaj Automobiles plans to ditch the Auto Expo 2016, to be held at Pragati Maidan from February 5 – February 9. Auto Expo is that one stop shop for all automobile freaks, to drool over the concept automobile displays and get free merchandise from car manufacturer’s stall. The number of visitors increases every year as more and more automobile giants focus on their production in India. Auto Expo is held every alternate year, in the beginning of the first quarter.
On the other hand, Rajiv Bajaj just trolled Auto Expo by claiming that it is unnecessarily expensive to participate in the grand event. Now, commoners like you and I must be wondering that even if it is expensive, Bajaj is a big brand in the country and can probably spend enough to market itself at the expo.
However, Rajiv Bajaj said something we usually do not hear from the MDs of such big companies.
Bajaj has unveiled its V motorbike today, ahead of the Auto Expo, to be priced between Rs 60K – Rs 70K. The specialty of the bike is the fact that it has been made from the scraps of INS Vikrant, a first in India. However due to limited availability of material, it will be made in India for only two years from now. It is a 150cc, single cylinder, four stroke engine bike churning out 12bhp @ 7500rpm.
Rajiv Bajaj’s reason for the absence from Auto Expo
Bajaj elaborated on his statement, “To participate in such event it takes around Rs 10-15 crore to make those concepts and the poor R&D department is spending half their time creating these concepts. There are some big car companies who have big money, they can do it. We are a small company. So to spend such amount is not affordable for us. To show the same thing, V model, over there (at Auto Expo) it is Rs 5 crore, we have managed it here for Rs 5 Lakh.”
To some extent, I agree with Bajaj. If the expo is just to show off your best concept and then not convert it into a production version, then there is no point in developing one and spending crores to create an image of a leading manufacturer. You hear a few ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ and ‘Wow’ at the expo for a brief moment, then all hopes come down in the following months. Simply marketing your product through print and online media can also get the job done for some well known brands.
Rajiv Bajaj also said that Bajaj is an established brand in the country and need not participate in Auto Expo to increase awareness about its products. This is one thing I don’t agree with. Auto Expo is an amazing platform to showcase your products to potential buyers, not just existing enthusiasts. It is here only that you and I will get to see so many automobiles under one roof and have enough data to compare them. I will not be wasting much time in deciding either considering all stalls have marketing executives looking out for customers.
This is the sole reason Bajaj announced the launch of their upcoming V bike before the Auto Expo, to stress on the fact that they will be giving a miss to the Expo this year. Weighing their options, it seems that they are making the right choice. If I don’t get to see a concept on road in the next five years, what is the point in raising our hopes. Such products tend to become just profile pictures rather than actual assets.
What do you think about the bold move? Tell us whether you were eager to see Bajaj at the expo or you’re indifferent to the statement.