Our dads' old and faithful warhorse Hamara Bajaj scooter attains superannuation
Majority of the generations who grew in the 70s through 80s have had Bajaj in their growing, whether childhood or teenage; their fathers must have definitely rode this scooter for many years. Decades back, people who looked for prospective grooms spoke very high of a person who had a Bajaj scooter. A Bajaj scooter was once upon a time regarded as a symbol of status and statement of a decent earning man. However, all that was a long time back story.
The company's first scooter model, Chetak(intentionally it was given the name of Maratha ruler Chatrapathi Shivaji's horse's name), was launched in 1972. Chetak remained Bajaj's flagship brand for over 10 years. There was a time when people had to wait hell lot of a time after pre booking their Chetak. A black market thrived selling the Chetak scooters. And, late 70s had been the Golden period for the Bajaj scooters, especially the Chetak. In 1977 Bajaj Auto claimed to have sold a lakh of Chetaks in just one financial year. There were times when people voted for Chetak rather than waiting long for Premier Padmini and Ambassador Cars. Post Hamara Bajaj campaign, the company touched one million mark by the end of 1995.
Chetak also claimed amazing resale value. However, the sale of Chetak's started to dip in the early 90s and Chetak could never recover at all. First the Kinetic scooter kick butted the Bajaj scooter, and then came the bikes one after the other including Bajaj's and sent these scooters to garage as worthless piece junk.
It was indeed Bajaj that gave birth to the scooter market in India and popularizing it under the heart-touching and sentimental 'Hamara Bajaj' campaign. Bajaj was founded in 1945 as first Bachraj Trading Corporation Pvt. Ltd. Having sold scooters for over 5 decades, Bajaj announced that it will phase out the scooter production and have its focus set high on bikes market. Bajaj couldn't stop rolling out its bike models to save its scooter. The company believes there is no sense in making scooters which fail to appeal this generation. Scooters are hardly selling these days, and the second hand market too is almost dead for the same.
The company believes it's a sacrifice they are doing by fading scooters to aim at becoming bike specialist in India. The same was announced by Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, Rajiv Bajaj at the launch of Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS bike.
Bajaj now sells a 100cc scooter (gearless one) Bajaj Crystal and it sells very little amidst competition from other gearless scooters including Activas, Access' and the Kinetics. So, what had been a part of our childhood will now become a history and a passé.
Old Hamara Bajaj TV Advertisement Video
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I could relate my childhood with the scooter. It makes me feel nostalgic. But time and tide will not wait for these oldies! Bye bye Hamara Bajaj.