After online booking and delivery of electric motorcycles to the customer’s doorstep, Tork Motors is going offline and building a physical network. A Bharat Forge subsidiary, the company began delivery of their Kratos electric motorcycles in July 2022 and sold 250 units in Pune through its D2C online channel.
Kapil Shelke, founder and CEO, Tork Motors, said they did not want to continue selling online as customers wanted to touch and feel the product, and interact with the company. Also, a lot of education was required in the electric vehicle segment. So, opening up stores made sense. Customers want to test-ride and look at chargers, making stores an important place to start a conversation, he said.
“As a startup, I want online to succeed but there are still some gaps in the market, the paperwork and RTO registration process were friction points and needed a physical store for better customer experience,” Shelke said. While the return on investment in an online sales model was better, there were a lot of emotions involved in buying a vehicle and customers wanted to come to the store and experience the product, he said.
The company has started with its own company-owned experience centres in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad. After launching in Pune, Tork which is backed by Ratan Tata and Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, is taking the motorcycle to seven cities — Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chenna, Ahmedabad and Delhi. Shelke said they would have 180 stores by end of FY23 and 400 subsequently.
The company has opened a large format 5,000 sq. ft experience centre while the other is a smaller size of around 600 sq. ft. store. Dealers could choose any of these formats for their dealerships. The company was ramping up manufacturing capacity to 5 0,000 units a year from Q1FY24.The Kratos electric motorcycle is priced at Rs 1,22,499 and Kratos-R was priced at Rs 1,37,499 (ex-showroom after subsidy in Maharashtra.