Mahindra Two Wheelers, part of the $16.5-billion Mahindra Group, on Thursday said that the recently-acquired Peugeot motorcycle brand of France will have an independent identity in the country. While Mahindra’s two-wheelers will cater to the mass segment, the Peugeot brand will service the premium segment.
Viren Popli, chief of operations, Mahindra Two Wheelers, said: “I don’t think we are going to create a Mahindra product that looks like Peugeot. We will let Peugeot be a Peugeot and Mahindra be a Mahindra. Both will be different in positioning and Peugeot will be an independent brand.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the Chennai launch of its global scooter ‘Gusto’, on Thursday, Popli said, “Peugeot stands for some thing great. It is the first motorcycle and scooter company that produced motorised bikes. They have a long history and you don’t mess up the originality of the brand when you have such a huge name.”
Popli said he expects the deal to go through by February. “Peugeot deal is in progress and there are some anti-trust documentation to be completed. We expect to clear all the hurdles by January end or February first week,” he said.
Mahindra Group in October last had announced it will acquire a 51% stake in French two-wheeler maker Peugeot Motorcycles, while committing a total investment of 28 million euros, or around Rs 216 crore, to the new joint venture.
Over the past few years, Mahindra had strengthened its position in the two wheeler segment globally. The company’s latest scooter ‘Gusto’, just after its launch in northern and western markets in the country in September last, was introduced in Nepal and Bangladesh markets during December.
“We are now planning to launch Gusto across South Asia, Latin America and Africa. Earlier, we had exported our motorcycle Centuro to various overseas markets including East Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and part of Middle East,” he said.
“We are slowly and steadily ramping up our overseas presence. As India’s two-wheeler market is only 22% of the global pie, there exists real blue sky opportunities overseas. For us, we have to build up our product portfolio first and once we have enough products, we can go more aggressively on this front,” he said.
On the new launches, Popli said that company has been continuously working on products and when the it gains complete confidence on the products, those will be rolled out . “ We don’t want to launch those products which already others have. The products of the company should be different and unique so that customers can be compelled to switch to our products, “ he said.
Next, the company will be launching a 300 cc motorbike and it intends to fill the gap between 110 cc and 300 cc. “ The company does not intend to go beyond 300 cc which would be a premium luxury product for which international brands are there. Mahindra is not for that game plan, “ Popli said.