The Indian superbike market is one that has been growing steadily, and DSK Hyosung has contributed small, yet steady numbers over the last couple of years. The company plans to roll out a number of new motorcycles into the market in the near future, while still maintaining the superbike tag on its products. We spoke to Shivapada Ray, Chief Operating Officer, DSK Hyosung, who told us about the performance of DSK Hyosung, new facility and products, among other things.
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Established in 2012, DSK Hyosung is a joint venture between the DSK Group and Hyosung, which is part of S&T Motors, Korea. At the Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier this year, the company had unveiled a number of motorcycles it plans to launch in India. Two of them – GD 250 N and GD 250 R – will roll out by the end of 2014, and will be the company's first single-cylinder offering in the country. In fact, the GD 250 series is Hyosung's first ever single-cylinder engine motorcycles globally.
The company will follow this up by launching the RT 250 D single-cylinder Scrambler in the beginning of 2015. Besides these models, DSK Hyosung also has plans of launching a new double-cylinder cruiser and a double-cylinder super sport bike in years to come. Interestingly, the company is eyeing the 250 cc to 700 cc motorcycle segment to create its niche, Ray said.
These products would be manufactured at the company's upcoming plant in Maharashtra's Satara district, 150 km away from Pune. Spread over an area of 85 acre, the plant is expected to be operational by 2015 end, with products rolling out from 2016. It will have an initial yearly production capacity of 100,000 motorcycles, which Ray says can be easily upgraded to 300,000 motorcycles per year. Investments of ' 300-400 cr is being made in the plant, which will also house a R&D centre and testing facilities, informed Ray. Housing for employees will also be constructed within this 85 acre property.
Once operational, the facility would also manufacture two motorcycles specifically designed for India. Ray did not divulge any details of these models, but we expect these motorcycles to be in the 150 cc range with almost 80 % localisation. Other DSK Hyosung models have about 30-40 % local content, confirmed Ray. At a later date, exports would also be undertaken from the plant to all of Hyosung's markets worldwide. DSK Hyosung has already begun the process of acquiring suppliers for its future products in India, thereby making it convenient once the plant is fully functional, Ray said.
DSK Hyosung currently assembles CKD kits from Korea at its Pune plant. Ray said 60 % of its sales come from the 250 cc segment, and the rest from the 650 cc segment. In FY14, the company sold over 1,800 motorcycles, an achievement Ray is proud of, considering the fact that its closest competitor also recorded sales of similar numbers for the same period.
DSK Hyosung currently has 36 dealerships across India, which the company targets to increase to 50 by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Ray confirmed the company has no intention of entering the commuter bike segment.
The company has made changes to its complete range and introduced new products, keeping the requirements of Indian conditions in mind. This is done with the help of the technical team in Korea, which gets regular feedback from their Indian counterparts, Ray said. He added that the acceptance level of feedback has been exceptionally high.
From a technology standpoint, he said the company will continue to manufacture motorcycles only featuring electronic fuel injection technology. This will remain the norm even in the case of DSK Hyosung beginning to produce 150 cc bikes. One major industry standardisation that the company is looking forward to is the change in the Indian driving cycle to international driving cycles, which Ray said, is expected to add on to the experience value of motorcycles under the superbike tag.
Text: Naveen Arul