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TVS gears up for foreign blitz with 150-cc bike

New Delhi, Sept. 21: TVS Motor Co, the country's third largest two-wheeler maker, is planning a foray into international markets with a new 150-cc bike that is currently in the development stage.

Sources said the company would first target Indonesia followed by Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines after the bike is ready to roll out in the first quarter of 2004-05.

The former Suzuki joint venture partner also plans to launch a low-price bike powered by a 100 cc engine for the domestic market which will compete with Kinetic Motor’s bikes. Analysts said this would eat into Kinetic's market slice since the company's earlier product, TVS Victor, was hugely successful and had impacted Hero Honda’s dominance in the mid-price segment.

The two-wheeler maker, which has its production facilities on the outskirts of Mysore, is also planning to set up a production unit in Indonesia for these bikes.

“The motorcycle segment has again emerged as the major growth driver for the company as it accounts for nearly 64 per cent of total vehicle sales,” company officials told The Telegraph, adding the firm would soon step up production of TVS Scooty.

Company officials estimate exports to South Asian countries and some African countries to increase to 25,000 units this year from 10,000 registered a year ago.

TVS, which sold 62,234 motorcycles in August 2003, up 6 per cent from 58,636 units in the same month a year ago, expects to post an almost 30 per cent rise in revenues to Rs 3,500 crore in the current financial year.

While Scooty sales for the month stood at 17,446 units, up 22 per cent from 14,293 units registered during the corresponding month last year. Net profit in 2002-03 leapt by 137 per cent to Rs 127 crore from Rs 54 crore registered in the previous year.

“This is due to higher sales turnover, cost reduction and significant savings in interest costs,” said a senior company official.

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