Calcutta, Aug. 19: DSK Motowheels, the Indian partner of S&T Motors, which manufactures the Hyosung superbikes, will invest Rs 300 crore to set up a manufacturing plant in India by 2015.
“We are looking for a property in Gujarat or Andhra Pradesh or Karnataka,” said Shirish Kulkarni, director of DSK Motowheels, who was in the city to launch the GT 250R.
This is the third initiative to distribute the South Korean superbikes in India. In 2004, Hyosungs were brought to India by Kinetic Motors.
In 2011, Garware Motors sold Hyosung bikes under a licence from S&T Motors, which had acquired the brand in 2007.
In 2012, Garware Motors sold its business of assembling and marketing sports Hyosungs in India to Pune-based real estate developer DSK Group.
“We were in talks with Garware about a possible partnership in the business. But I was not interested in just selling the bikes,” said Kulkarni, who runs the biggest Toyota dealership in Maharashtra. Kulkarni did not reveal the deal value between the two companies citing confidentiality agreement but said DSK paid a premium to Garware for buying the Hyosung operations.
DSK plans to sell 3,750 units this year. Last fiscal, only 611 units were sold in India.
“We are now entering the mass market with the GT 250R. We already have 120 bookings and we have sold 300 units till July,” Kulkarni said. The superbike is priced at Rs 2.77 lakh (ex-showroom, Calcutta).
It also plans to bring the GB650 by October and the GB 250 next year.
In a bid to bring down the price of the SKD (semi-knocked down) units, DSK plans to initially start localisation of the bikes.
“We intend to start painting the bikes here at the existing SKD plant in Wai, Maharashtra. We have a painting facility. We will then proceed to source the tyres, batteries locally and we will pass on the benefits of localisation to the customers,” said the director.
The new plant will manufacture the 150cc and 125cc bikes, initially. “We are ready with the concepts. We might still source the engines from S&T,” said Kulkarni.
The company will also extend its footprint by adding new dealerships. It has 18 dealers, which will go up to 30 by the end of the year. The Hyosung portfolio now has five bikes — 250, GT650, ST7, GT650P and GT 250R.