Triumph Motorcycles was late to enter the Indian market for a number of reasons known widely. When it did enter the market though, it did it with a big bang; launching 10 motorcycles across multiple segments in one go. Right at the launch, the British bike maker announced that it will carry out local assembly of seven models at its plant in Manesar, Haryana. In order to know how things have turned out to be since the launch in November 2013, we had a quick chat with Vimal Sumbly, Managing Director, Triumph Motorcycles India.
BUSINESS SO FAR
It's been a few months since Triumph launched its products in India and Sumbly told us that the going has been good till now. By mid-May, Triumph had received bookings for over 375 motorcycles, making it the fastest growing super premium motorcycle brand in India. Sumbly said this has become possible due to the two-pronged strategy formulated by the company before the launch.
The first strategy was to focus on products, and the company fulfilled that by launching 10 products at one go. That gave Triumph another India-first distinction. The company is now working extensively on the second parameter of developing a network, and is in line with realising its plan of having eight dealerships by end of June, 2014. Of these, six are already operational and a new dealership would've opened up in New Delhi by the time you read this issue.
Owing to the focus on these areas, Sumbly expects to close the year (June 2013 – July 2014) at about 500 units. Next year, this number is expected to go up to about 1,000 and to 1,500 in the year after that, translating into a growth in the region of about 50 % per annum. The dealership count too is planned to go up to 13 by next year.
Triumph isn't planning to leave any stones unturned in its quest to establish itself as a high-end motorcycle company in the country. The company already has established the Rider Association of Triumph, which will organise long-distance rides for its consumers and offering better consumer engagement in turn.
In order to offer an unmatched motorcycle buying experience, Triumph India's stores are based on its world store concept, thereby offering Indian consumers the same level of experience as offered in other markets. Sumbly told us the unique things at these stores would include easy access for potential buyers to test ride motorcycles and configure their bike using tablets in the store itself. We've already seen that customisation is gaining popularity in India and given the wide range of customisation Triumph offers on an already wide range of products, it should see good traction from such a genre of buyers.
PRODUCTION & UPCOMING PRODUCTS
India is presently the second market after Brazil for Triumph to have CKD assembly operations, highlighting the focus being laid upon the market by the British company. In addition to the Manesar plant, the company owns a piece of land in Karnataka as well. Sumbly told us that the market has huge potential and while the company's prerogative right now is to develop the super-premium segment, the numbers in the mid-size segment are huge.
Talking of the 250 cc motorcycle sketch shown at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, he acknowledged the presence of a 250 cc market in India, but refused to commit whether Triumph's 'global' product would make it to the Indian market. Global media is rife with speculations that the 250 cc product could well be made in India, with possible exports to other countries as well.
Despite the Indian automotive industry going through a downturn, two-wheelers are the only sector posting growth. Within this sector, the 250 cc and above segment is also growing at a rapid pace, offering good numbers for the participating players. Sumbly told us that the Manesar plant will continue to assemble super-premium bikes with no plans of localisation or exports.
In essence, we have one of the best markets for 250 cc motorcycles in the world, a product in development phase, an empty piece of land with the company and high-growth targets. Connect the dots, and it becomes clear that Triumph will soon enter the 250 cc – 500 cc space through the local manufacturing route.
Text: Arpit Mahendra