More on Bajaj’s scooter rebirth

Following last month’s reports that Bajaj was looking to re-enter the scooter market, Moneycontrol India reported last week that Bajaj will launch the Kristal (for the ladies) in January, and re-introduce the Blade. Rajiv Bajaj, who seemed creepily gleeful a year ago when he proclaimed the Chetak dead, is hyping his mysterious hi-tech blockbuster 150cc scooter to the press and making it clear that it won’t be secondary to the Bajaj motorcycle line; it will be “insightfully positioned” (is that Rajiv for “boutique?”) at only 100 of Bajaj’s 500 dealerships. You’d think Bajaj could learn from Piaggio’s mistakes, even if Piaggio can’t. “Given that the Honda Eterno sells 90,000 units a year,” says Vespa Club of America historian John Gerber, “I have to wonder if they would try to compete in this niche with another geared scooter.” I think that seems unlikely, but I don’t think for a second that Rajiv would have any problem pillaging the “Chetak” name.