Bajaj is the fourth largest two-wheeler and the largest three-wheeler company on the planet and has a presence in multiple continents.
Products from Bajaj like the Boxer have destroyed around 160 Chinese companies in South Africa over the last few years. South Africa is a market that used to be dominated by cheap Chinese motorcycles in the 1990s. In fact, they had over 95% market share in South Africa in that decade. That is when the Indian two-wheeler giants like Bajaj and TVS entered the market. They partnered with Japanese companies to source their engines and their own manufacturing prowess to offer well-engineered and reliable products at attractive prices.
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Bajaj Boxer Killed 160 Companies in South Africa
This video captures the entire history of the two-wheeler market in South Africa for decades. At the time when the market was flooded with Chinese motorcycles, there was a huge issue of repair and service. These companies didn’t offer servicing facilities and the quality of their bikes was not great either. Sensing the opportunity, Bajaj entered the market and even made tie-ups with local players to offer aftermarket sales in addition to well-engineered bikes. As a result, the local population got access to well-made, durable and reliable bikes at affordable prices.
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The result was astonishing. Bajaj became the talk of the town and slowly started snatching away the market share from Chinese companies. In fact, as many as 160 Chinese companies had to shut their operations and leave the country. Before you knew it, Bajaj had established itself as a prominent player in the country with around 50% share. This is one the back of mega-successful products like the Boxer and Platina. Thereafter, the other Indian motorcycle giant TVS also entered the market and the Chinese companies were completely dominated.
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What We Think
Both India and South Africa are emerging economies. In such markets, price and reliability are the two most critical factors that people consider before buying a bike. Hence, it is not hard to understand the reason for this mad success of Bajaj in the South African market. The buyers in both these countries look for the best value-for-money proposition and act accordingly. Indian bikes offered that along with local service centres that were co-owned by local players to connect to the customers. This is a lesson for any business when they approach a new market.
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