The Telegraph
Sunday , April 6 , 2014
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Niche bikes pick up pace

Smooth ride

New Delhi, April 5: Bike makers are planning to set up new plants to meet the growing demand for niche or leisure motorcycles in the country.

Superbike maker Hyosung, which sells bikes in India through DSK Motowheels, will invest around Rs 350 crore to set up a plant on 100 acres in Karad, Maharashtra.

“We hope to start construction by September,” Shirish Kulkarni, chairman of DSK Hyosung, said.

The company plans to come out with its own brand of motorcycles from this plant.

“We will bring out motorcycles under the DSK brand as well for the mass market. We will start with smaller engine motorcycles,” Kulkarni said. The Karad plant will have an annual production capacity of 1,00,000 units by 2020.

At present, the company has an assembly plant in Wai, Maharashtra and rolls out six models priced between Rs 2.46 lakh and Rs 6 lakh. The company recently launched a 250cc cruiser — the Aquila 250 — for Rs 2.69 lakh.

“According to industry reports, the Indian superbike market has grown manifold and is doubling almost every two years despite the economic gloom and fall in domestic demand. From cutting edge sports bikes to retro-classics and sports cruisers, our product portfolio offers something for everyone in this segment,” he said. The company has 35 dealers all over the country and plans to expand its network.

After the success of legendary US bike makers Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycles, UM Global — a motorcycle company based out of Miami — plans to come to India.

The company showcased its models at the auto expo in Delhi this year. It will launch a series of sports and cruiser bikes with 100cc to 250cc engine capacity.

The company plans to set up a manufacturing unit in the Delhi NCR region by the middle of this year to build completely knocked down motorcycles with a large percentage of localised parts, a company official said.

UM Global bikes are likely to be priced between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1.50 lakh. “We will be able to target the mass as well as the niche market with the price range. We are going to sell a whole line up of accessories and apparels to complement the motorcycles. Some of these have never been seen in India,” a company official said.