Have Jawa bikes fail to shine in India?
In the highly competitive Indian automotive industry, sometimes it is quite difficult for some manufacturers to survive and satisfy all the needs of the consumer, due to which they are unable to achieve the numbers they deserve or which they aim for. Reasons for this could vary from brand to brand but we would be talking about a legendary brand today, which failed to get the numbers it deserved in the Indian motorcycle segment.
A very warm welcome to all our readers at MOTORBHAI, in tough times like these, we hope you are safe and sound in your respective homes and un-affected by the virus. We welcome you all to yet article in which we would be discussing if Jawa bikes have lost their charm in India and what are the possible reasons for their low sales numbers.
So, without wasting any further time, let’s get started!
Brief History of Jawa Motorcycles.
During the years before 1980, Jawa was present in the Indian market and enjoyed a great market fan following along with counterparts like Royal Enfield, Rajdoot among others. Jawa was even active in many rallies and races across India. The key attractions which attracted consumers to Jawa in those days were the fact they were performance bikes at affordable prices with great looks. Those were the time when Jawa bikes were hugely popular in the Indian Motorcycle segment (in the ‘60s and early ‘90s).
But, after the globalization in the 90’s, the Indian motorcycle segment saw the introduction of many two-wheeler manufacturers entering India especially from Japan, as they started eyeing India as a potential market for growth. Slowly and steadily, the Japanese started to gain market share and people’s preferences changed. The classic, bulky, and macho bikes from Jawa, Royal Enfield were replaced by easy-to-ride, compact and frugal two-wheelers by the Japanese. And Jawa finally stopped their production in 1996 after decreasing market shares.
Fast-forward to 2016, Mahindra & Mahindra announced the return of the brand in India through its subsidiary Classic legends private limited and it could not be better news for fanboys of Jawa. And in the next couple of years, they introduced three new motorcycles for the Indian market i.e. The Jawa 42, Jawa Perak, and the Jawa 300 in November 2018.
Present Situation and sales.
Jawa did reintroduced itself amidst a lot of hype and did launch some great motorcycles but going by the sales numbers and comparing it with the segment leader Royal Enfield, its sales number fall short by a huge margin. If we just take into notice the sales figure of August 2020, Royal Enfield Motorcycles sold 35,000 units whereas Jawa could manage just numbers close to 1300 units. So, what could be the possible reasons why Jawa is lagging, and why consumers are opting for other bikes in competition we discuss them today.
- Long waiting period: With a waiting period of more than 6 months on the Jawa bikes, customers who have already booked their bikes are also deeply disappointed with the dealership and slow supply chains from Jawa. The prime reason for this problem is the fact that Jawa has only one operating manufacturing plant in India.
- Poor Marketing strategy: Mahindra revived Jawa back in India in 2018 and created a huge hype, and many enthusiasts wished to own a Jawa, but later the hype died due to the poor marketing strategy and not many people were aware of the brand launches and events. Most of the buyers looking for a bike in this segment hardly have heard the names of Jawa bikes, or they discover it when they do deep analysis. Hence, we feel, a great marketing strategy is crucial when it comes to making the product a success.
- Fear of After-sales service: For anyone who is investing the amount of money for a Java bike, he/she is always concerned about the after-sales and service of the bike and this comes as a negative as he is unsure due to the low sales of the bike and limited-service reach, which comes as a downside in the mind of the customer.
- Competition: With established contenders like Royal Enfield with its classic series and other bikes already in the market, it was difficult for Jawa to make a solid impression in the first place as they did not have anything exceptional to offer to the consumer, except its retro-vintage design and decent power figures. Not just Royal Enfield, other bike manufacturers including Honda, Triumph among others are also aiming for the 350++cc segment. So, the competition is likely to increase more in the future.
- Sparse dealer network: A wide range of dealerships across various states of India would have surely helped Jawa to get better recognition and word of mouth.
- Fewer Features, Old technology: As mentioned earlier, Jawa bikes did not have a standout feature when compared to its rivals. Having some great features would have helped differentiate Jawa from its rivals.
With this we hope, we would have let you know why Jawa isn’t able to reach the sales figures it deserves. We would now like to end this article here, and any kind of feedback from your side is always welcomed in the comments section below.
We will see you soon in yet another information-filled article, till then take care of yourselves and ride safe!