Interview: Shoeb Farooq, Business Head, Triumph Motorcycles India

Triumph India has plans to assemble the upcoming Tiger 660 in India. More than 50 per cent sales of Triumph are coming from CKD models, and the brand is eyeing to close around 1,200 units.

 

Over 50% of our sales volumes are coming from CKD models

Over the last 12 months (November 2020 to October 2021), there has been about 10% de-growth in the Indian premium motorcycle segment (usually 500cc and above engine size, and costing more than Rs 5 lakh), but Triumph Motorcycles India grew by about 30% in this period. “We are confident of holding on to this growth over the next few months as well,” Shoeb Farooq, business head, Triumph Motorcycles India, tells FE’s Vikram Chaudhary. He adds that the Trident, its entry-level 660cc motorcycle, has brought in a new set of customers to the brand. Excerpts:

What all reasons do you attribute to Triumph Motorcycles India’s growth in a shrinking market?

The basic strength of Triumph lies in its product, and we have been pretty aggressive in our product strategy, right from the BS4-to-BS6 transition to now. We have continuously built on our product range; we have 15 models right now, which is one of the largest in the premium motorcycle segment in India.

We have also entered a new territory, which is the 660cc motorcycle segment, and this has given us a completely new set of customers. We also have a very strong dealer network.

Then we aligned our global launches with India launches, and if a product is launched globally we try to ensure that within a few months it is available in India as well.

All these things put together have given us robust growth in a shrinking market.

How many motorcycles have you sold in the last 12 months?

We have sold about 1,050 units in the last 12 months, but in our financial year (which runs from July to June) we will close around 1,200 units.

This will be one of our best sales performances in India.

Did the chip shortage create supply challenges for you?

It’s not just the chip shortage, but also the container shortage (motorcycle parts come to India in shipping containers) that is a challenge, but we are trying to ensure minimum waiting period for our customers.

Have you become India’s largest premium motorcycle player, or is it still Kawasaki?

The premium motorcycle market size in India is close to about 4,500 units, and we represent a quarter of that.

The focus is not about becoming number one, but to create unique post-purchase experiences for our customers, by taking care of all their needs, from curated rides and track days and even choice in terms of riding gear.

Has the Trident become your largest selling single model, considering that it is the most affordable and must have gotten a new set of customers to Triumph India?

We are averaging close to 30-odd unit sales of the Trident motorcycle every month in India, which is about 30% of our monthly sales; our Classic motorcycle range together contributes another 30%, and the remaining is contributed by the Street Triple, the Rocket and the Tiger.

The average age of the Trident buyer is also lower than buyers of other Triumph models.

Going forward, we are getting more products on the 660cc platform, including the Tiger 660, and this will attract a lot of first-time buyers to the premium motorcycle segment.

The 660cc segment has also gotten us some buyers from tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and this is expected to only grow with more models in the 660cc range.

The Trident is assembled in India. Will the Tiger 660 also be assembled in India?

Yes we plan to make it in India; now with the Trident, more than 50% of our sales volumes are coming through CKD models.

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