The US-based premium motorcycle maker Indian Motorcycles entered the local market a couple of months earlier, in a bid to leverage the growing opportunities in this segment.
In addition, this player is optimistic of leveraging its global brand in the local market, and quickly gaining a 10 per cent market share in the 1600 cc, and higher segment. In a conversation, Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director, Polaris India, highlighted their growth strategy.
What was the rationale for entering the Indian market?
We entered the Indian market three years ago with Polaris, which manufactures off-road vehicles, and this segment is still at a very ‘nascent’ stage. We offer ‘snowmobiles’ and all-terrain vehicles (ATV), which are a rather niche category, and are the only player marketing these products in India, currently.
Last year, our US parent bought the Indian Motorcycles brand and we decided this is the best time to launch the brand in the country, given the growth opportunities in the high-end motorcycle segment.
Who is your target customer?
Our customers are in the higher income group and 35 – 50 years, and are ‘passionate’ about riding a motorcycle. In addition, these customers often own an array of premium models, but they can differentiate amongst them and appreciate the intrinsic quality of each motorcycle.
What is the current size of the premium motorbike segment in India?
Sales in the segment consisting of engines with a size of 1600 cc, and higher, was 200 units in ‘13. Our motorcycles are priced from Rs 26.5 lakh and we are aiming for a 10 per cent market share in this category.
We remain optimistic on the growth prospects for these high-end motorcycles and are also expanding our retail network which is currently limited to Gurgaon, to Bangalore, later this year.
You are currently importing CBU (completely built units) in India. Do you plan to set up an assembling or manufacturing unit in India, shortly?
We are not looking to shift to a CKD (completely knocked down) model right now or even set up a manufacturing plant, but are evaluating various options.
How are you differentiating yourself from other foreign manufacturers operating here?
We plan to ‘engage’ closely with our customers and plan to organise several events as well as work with our partners in this regard. In addition, our motorcycles have a classic design and display the brand’s heritage, and help to differentiate ourselves from peers.