As it prepares to start producing electric three-wheelers by the first quarter of the next year, Tube Investments of India (TII), part of the Murugappa Group, has said it may enter the two-wheeler EV segment if the company could earn profit out of the venture.
The company said though it is still early days, it is exploring whether it makes sense to enter a segment where a slew of new OEMs is reportedly burning cash. In a recent earnings call, VellayanSubbiah, MD, TII, told analysts he has been hearing from suppliers and competitors that even with the subsidies available, over time, some of the newer electric two-wheeler OEMs seem to be losing money.
“If that is the case, we need to see. We do not want to get into an industry that has a very big revenue pool and no profit pool. So, we need to figure out…If we get to a solution where we think there is a profit pool, we will jump into the segment,” he said.
The company decided in February to start manufacturing electric three-wheelers with an outlay of up to Rs 200 crore. The technology for the vehicle, for which a prototype has already been developed, is a combination of in-house expertise and design support from a Korean company. The TII management said they will be able to launch the product in the first quarter of next year.
“Covid has put us behind [schedule] a month or two. The capacity, we are looking at short and long, so we are building up that capacity…that is the way we have planned capacity in the first phase,” KK Paul of TII said.
TII last month signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government to set up a production unit for the e-three-wheelers at an investment of `140 crore at Ambattur, Chennai.Around580 jobs are expected to be created.
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