0 to P220 in 20 months
Time travel back to Nov,2005. It was rumored to be a 250 twin cylinder bike, the likes of the baby Ninja by Kawasaki. Bajaj went so far as to let the bike be "spotted" by journalists. Pics of the bike spread like wildfire in which the bike had the body of a Kawasaki Ninja 250R covered in stickers ridden by a Bajaj technician on Pune streets.
Many of us started wondering if we would be able to to save approx 1.25 lakhs to pay for the bike in the coming 3-4 months.
Then came the Auto Expo 2006 where the new Pulsar 180 and the Pulsar 220 were put on display. Many hearts broke and bled after seeing a single cylinder bike. Some still hoped that the Ninja was top secret and would be launched too. Some were happy to see that they could afford to buy at least this bike because the Ninja would burn a big hole in their pocket. Some wanted to book the bike at the Expo itself.
Magazines went crazy as the pics and the possible specs of the bike became necessary to cover in the next issue. Enthusiasts went on and on about the design of the headlights, the rear disk brake and of course, fuel injection. Man, they could hardly wait to lay their hands on one ... However, wait, was something they didnt know theyd have to do for a loong time.
Its not like everyone waited. Some went out and bought other bikes feeling that they would rather cross the bridge when they came to it. Some waited for a few months and then started looking at other options. However, almost everyone took a lot of care before deciding to purchase another bike, lest the fuel injected monster was secretly scheduled for launch a few days after their purchase. I decided to put the thought of upgrading out of my mind till the time a 250cc or more machine, hopefully twin cylinder, hit the showrooms. It wasnt like I did not get tempted to change my decision. Every time the Indian bikers interest started dropping, out came another breaking news about the bike and its launch date. It was like having a year long er**tion. It hurt.
Pune became the most enviable city in the Indian bikers mind when the residents finally saw the Pulsar 220 just standing in the pro biking outlets last year. No advertisements, no announcements whatsoever. The Pulsar 220 had arrived and it needed no introduction.
The first batch of the 220 cc Pulsars was probably booked for sale even before everyone interested in the bike came to know about it. People rushed to the showrooms and didnt even wait to read the specifications. They has learned them by heart. Booking amount was paid and the wait for delivery began.
The bikes finally hit the streets and the proud owners couldnt wipe off the happy grin on their faces for weeks. The questions at the red lights, the admiring looks of the opposite gender, the ability to race past almost anything on 2 wheels and the special treatment at the service stations; they loved it all. This was money very well spent. Then came the problems ...
Pulsar 220 started developing glitches that were never expected from a bike so costly. The issues had never been seen on Bajaj Pulsar or any other Indian bike before it. For the riders, it was time to scream, shout, complain and do just about everything to get someone to hear them : And they were heard, very well, and responded to after a long time. The second lot had yet to make its way into the hands of thousands willing to pay for the fastest 4 stroke Indian bike.
We are now hearing rumors again and even "confirmed" reports of the refined Pulsar 220s "nationwide" phased launch. 20 months down the line, no adverts yet from Bajaj. Makes me wonder, is this another marketing tactic? Should I advise my friend to wait? After all, hes depending on my input.
Too many mind games, too many promises broken, too many dreams shattered ...
PS : Remarkable, excellent, top of the line marketing strategy by Bajaj. I applaud and salute.
PPS : No adverts does not mean that Bajaj did not get a half a page advertisement printed in a major daily in December 2006. It just means that there were no official adverts from 2 months before the period mentioned.
Source : http://revlimit.co.in/SMF_Forum/index.php/topic,857.0.html