Dominar 250 could face cannibalization if Pulsar 250 is competitively priced and offers more value to customers
Launched last year in March, Dominar 250 is one of the most affordable 250cc bikes in the country. It is currently available at a starting price of Rs 1.59 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The bike will soon face competition from one of its own – Pulsar 250. The latter is scheduled for launch on October 28. Ahead of that, Dominar 250 sales have nosedived in September.
Dominar 250 September sales
Bajaj offers a wide range of motorcycles in the 250cc range. Apart from Dominar 250, they have the Husqvarna twins Svartpilen and Vitpilen, then the KTM Duke 250 and ADV 250. This week will see the launch of Pulsar NS250 and Pulsar 250F.
With production constrained due to global shortage of parts, it is likely that Dominar 250 production numbers are low so that they could produce more units of the Pulsar 250 Twins. Bajaj has not said anything about discontinuing Dominar 250. In fact, they have been more bullish on the 250cc segment than anyone else in the industry.
From 440 units in August, Dominar 250 sales have dropped to just 4 units in September. Many potential buyers would have adopted a wait and watch policy. They are expected to take a decision once Pulsar 250 is launched. It remains to be seen which among the two emerges as favourite.
In the last 12 months, Dominar 250 sales have averaged 560 units per month. Its bigger sibling Dominar 400 appears to be doing relatively better with average monthly sales of 741 units. Dominar 250 sales are likely below expectation, even though the bike is competitively priced. Earlier this year in July, Bajaj had even reduced price of Dominar 250 from Rs 1.71 lakh to Rs 1.54 lakh.
A reduction of 17k was significant, especially at a time when most manufacturers have raised prices of their two-wheelers multiple times this year. However, price cut does not seem to have made any major difference in sales. August sales of 440 units are quite less as compared to a high of 1,750 units in October last year.
Apart from pricing, Bajaj has also worked to improve the bike’s look and feel. In August, three new colour options were introduced for Dominar 250. All three are dual-tone colour options, referred to as Citrus Rush and Matt Silver, Sparkling Black and Matt Silver, and Racing Red and Matt Silver. These have significantly enhanced the bike’s sporty profile.
Dominar 250 vs. Pulsar 250
Being the largest Pulsar ever, the 250cc model is expected to be a well-equipped bike. In terms of styling, Pulsar 250 sports an entirely new look. Only a limited number of features have been borrowed from existing Pulsar motorcycles. Key updates include a new semi-digital instrument console. It is possible that the bike could get Bluetooth-based connectivity features.
The bike gets a new chassis. The frame comprises a twin tubular cradle frame and there is no downtube. The bike utilizes standard telescopic forks at front and a monoshock absorber at rear. Both wheels have disc brakes and dual-channel ABS is expected to be standard. The bike will be utilizing Grimeca callipers.
Powering Pulsar 250 will be an entirely new 249cc, single cylinder, air/oil-cooled motor. It is expected to generate 24 bhp of max power and 20 Nm of peak torque. It will be mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The bike is expected to get advanced features like assist and sipper clutch and variable valve actuation (VVA). In comparison, Dominar 250 has a 248.77 cc, liquid cooled motor that generates 27 ps / 23.5 Nm. It has 37mm USD forks at front.