Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kristal Dtsi : Intelligent Scooter

Brand :Kristal Dtsi
Company:Bajaj Auto

Brand Count :215

Kristal is Bajaj Auto's latest offering in the ungeared scooter segment in India. It is a unique situation with the erstwhile king of scooters struggling to find place in the scooter market which it once ruled.
Kristal is a 95 cc ungeared scooter targeted at college girls. The product was first showcased at Auto Expo 2006. This month the company has launched this new brand in the Indian Market. Kristal takes on the market leader TVS Scooty in the increasingly competitive Ladies' scooter market. Kristal is somewhere in the middle of the 75 cc Scooty and 102 cc Pleasure.

Kristal Dtsi is positioned as an "Intelligent Scooter". The brand boasts about lot of innovative features. The website of this brand focuses on 7 features that makes Kristal different. The seven features are
1.Front Fuel tank: the company says that it is the first in this segment to offer this facility.The fuel tank is in the front hence the rider needn't step out and lift the seats to fill in the petrol. Also the fuel flap opens with the turning of the ignition key that is also a great convenience to lady riders.
2.DTSI: No body knows what it means but every one has see this technology delivering in the Pulsar. Bajaj has put this technology into the new scooter and hopes that it does the magic .
3.Extra large storage space: Kristal boasts about 22lts storage space and lot of additional hooks aimed at making the product user friendly for the TG. The storage below the seat also has an automatic light (like a fridge) .
4.Pentalock: The brand has one key that opens many doors. The company has made use of the ignition key to the maximum. With a single knob , the rider can open the fuel flap,open the seat, accelerator lock ,steering lock and ignition.
5.Smart Lamp: The brand has sensors that look at the lighting conditions outside and will adjust the front and panel lights. The front light will be automatically on when you go through a tunnel or when the lighting conditions become low.
6.SNS suspension: Kristal also features Spring in Spring suspension to deliver more comfort to the riders.
7.Low battery /fuel indicators: The scooter also have battery and fuel indicators.

Bajaj has put in lot of thinking behind Kristal. The failures of earlier scooter brands like Wave, Saphire & Sunny may be still haunting the company.So they have put in all out effort to regain the lost empire. According to reports, Bajaj is planning another Male Scooter branded Blade and may launch it this year.

As a scooter with all those thoughtful features, Kristal has done it right at the product front. The brand is now being promoted through television ads that calls this brand as an Intelligent Scooter. To a certain extent, the communication is able to catch the attention of the viewers. About the size of the scooter, I have a feeling that the brand is smaller than its peers. If it is so, then Kristal will have a huge problem.
But the issue is with the price. Kristal is priced stiffly at Rs 35000 and I think if that is the price , Kristal may not succeed in the market ( my view). Why because , the features that the brand talk about doesn't justify the heavy price put on this brand. Another issue is that except for the DTSI,all the features can be copied by the competitors. Kristal may have to spent too much money convincing the customers about the value proposition. Why I am skeptical is that the TVS Scooty has strong brand equity and to match that , Kristal has a long way to go.