Iconic British brand and super luxury bike maker Triumph Motorcycles is seeking to capitalise on the growing demand for luxury bikes in India. In an interview with R Ravichandran, Vimal Sumbly, managing director, says he hopes to see a healthy double-digit growth for luxury motorcycles in India. Triumph plans to capitalise on this with new offerings with an increased market presence and compelling services. Excerpts:
How has been your experience in India since inception?
The journey so far has been spectacular. We have sold over 1,300 motorcycles in our very first year. The brand has 10 dealerships with the latest corporate identity and is looking at expanding footprint here with 2 more dealers soon. The enthusiasm we saw at the recent India Bike Week (IBW) was extremely inspiring. All in all we feel that the brand has found a strong foothold within the luxury motorcycle category in India. We hope to sell 2,500 units in 2015.
What is the market size for such premium/super bikes in India and what about the growth porential?
The premium motorcycles industry (500 cc and above) was 3,500 units last year as per reliable data. And this year the industry is expected to grow to 10,000 units, and that looks encouraging. The industry is growing exponentially (a healthy double-digit). The current trends show immense opportunity for growth within the industry for us in particular.
What are the challenges before you in India, including duties/taxes, policy decisions?
Geographically, India is an extremely diverse market. Establishing a network around the country is the biggest challenge. Another challenge is the frequent changes in excise duties. It would be better if the government can cut import duty on products which don’t come in conflict with the already existing Indian manufacturers. For instance, reduce duty on motorcycles that are 800 cc and above. No Indian manufacturer sells in that segment and hence will not adversely affect the Indian grown businesses and will simultaneously support foreign luxury manufacturers. It can effectively boost the premium motorcycle industry in India.
How do you differ from that of other players in this category and where do you want to be in market share/size?
Triumph Motorcycles, has iconic models from all major motorcycle categories such as Classics, Roadsters, Adventure, Cruisers and Super sports. So in a way we are strengthening the entire premium bike category. There are some good brands already established well in India. However, to be fair we do not list any one motorcycle manufacturer as our competition owing to our presence across 5 different categories. The premium motorcycle segment is growing at double digit and the current Indian market scenario as such is in its developing stage with enough room for all the brands to co-exists and grow. With a wide offering as ours as well competitive pricing we hope ride well going forward in India and the first year is an example for this.
Apart from the two new launches recently, how many new products are lined up for this year and under what categories?
The pace of introduction of our new products has to consider market dynamics and is based on consumer demand. With the launch of the Tiger XRx & XCx we now have 13 of our most prestigious models in 5 different categories. We will be possibly launching more motorcycles during this year.