Iconic British motorcycle maker Triumph Motorcycles has been in India for close to four years, and has been growing its business in the country. The company recently launched its 2017 Street Triple S motorcycle, and for the first time in its history in India, carried out regional launches of the motorcycle. On the side-lines of the regional launch in Bangalore, we caught up with Vimal Sumbly, Managing Director, Triumph Motorcycles India Pvt Ltd, who spoke of current performance, local assembly, along with future strategy. Here are the excerpts.
ATR _ Any significance for Triumph’s regional launch in Bangalore?
Vimal Sumbly _ Luxury is moving fast towards the South, and the culture of riding is very strong in this part of the country. Additionally, Bangalore was the first place the company established its store, and it is also the largest market for Triumph in India in terms of sales. This makes it an important market to carry out the first regional launch for the company.
Could you tell us about the local assembly and its benefits?
The Street Triple S is assembled in India through the Completely Knocked-Down (CKD) route, without localisation of parts, as such. The CKD route is said to be the least cumbersome form of local assembly, for which the motorcycle needs to be homologated and then assembly can begin. CKD gives the company flexibility, as well as focus on strategy.
While Triumph has two manufacturing facilities – UK and Thailand, its CKD assembly takes place in Brazil and now in India. This shows the prominence of India in Triumph’s strategic direction. Also, there is a very clear intent that Triumph wants to grow this market and cater to customer requirements.
Please tell us more about the newly-launched Street Triple S motorcycle.
This is one of the first motorcycles to be assembled locally through the CKD route in India. Triumph has become an official supplier of engines for MotoGP from 2019, and the Street Tripe S is based on the same platform. It is the lightest and fastest motorcycle in its segment, and brings in a number of rider-focussed technologies mainly aimed at safe riding. Some of these technologies include ride-by-wire, traction control, ABS, riding modes and automatic headlamp on, which will ensure rider safety.
How is Triumph performing in the above Rs 5 lakh, +500 cc premium and luxury motorcycle segment?
In 2016-17, the total +500 cc motorcycle segment in India had a total market of about 10,000 units, with the industry having moved up dramatically. The number of manufacturers has also increased to about 15 OEMs, again showing that India is going to become a large market for these motorcycles eventually, with the segment slated to grow due to three main reasons. Firstly, India is one of the largest and fastest-growing billionaire communities in the world. Second, infrastructure development and the growth of digitalisation will connect urban and rural markets seamlessly, and finally Smart cities will help grow the premium and luxury markets.
From 2014-17 Triumph has sold close to 4,000 motorcycles in India, becoming one of the fastest growing brands in India. The company currently has a market share of 27-28 % in the above Rs 5 lakh and +500 cc motorcycle segment, according to SIAM.
What is the strategy of Triumph Motorcycles in India, going forward?
Triumph has had a three-prong strategy in India. The first is in bringing products across all segments to the market, such as classic, cruiser, roadster and adventure. The second strategy is in bringing in assembly of more CKD models into the country. The final strategy was in bringing in dealerships and after-sales centres in tandem. While the company currently has 14 dealerships, it aims to have 25 dealerships by 2020. Triumph will continue its growth in the country, especially with a strong focus on offering products with an enhanced, safe riding experience.
TEXT: Naveen Arul