Here in the Philippines, Bajaj may not be considered a big brand. They're perhaps most popularly known as the makers of the CT-100 “Pantra” by Kawasaki, touted as the most fuel-efficient motorcycle during its time, making it a highly popular choice for tricycle drivers nationwide. They're also behind the Dominar 400 as well as the RE three-wheeler.
Bajaj may seem like just a manufacturer of affordable motorcycles for the masses, but that also makes it one of the biggest and most valuable motorcycle manufacturers in the world.
Just last Friday, Bajaj announced that it has become the first two-wheeler company in the world to cross a market capitalization of Rs 1 lakh crore, or roughly around US$ 13.6 billion. This milestone also coincided with the company’s 75th anniversary.
To put it in perspective, that's almost the same amount as global Japanese auto brand, Subaru (US$15.25B), and comparable to the total national budget of a small country. By comparison, Harley-Davidson's market capitalization is just at US$5B.
This may seem trivial compared to larger, more diversified companies like Honda, Yamaha, and BMW, whose market caps far exceed US$50B. However, Bajaj is one of the few that largely focuses on just two wheeled products.
“The company’s sharp focus on the motorcycles category and its unwavering commitment to strategies of differentiation as well as the practice of TPM combined with global ambitions have today made Bajaj the most valuable two-wheeler company across the globe,” said Bajaj Auto Managing Director, Rajiv Bajaj.
A key to Bajaj's success is its partnership with KTM with a 48% stake in the company. Bajaj makes a large portion of KTM models, such as the larger Dukes and RC series of motorcycles.
Bajaj has mega factories set up in Chakan near Pune, and Pantnagar, India. The company has also recently announced that they are building a fourth plant in Chakan worth close to US$100 million. This new facility will cater to the manufacturing premium as well as electric motorcycles.