Interview with Arun Siddharth

Head – Marketing (Motorcycles), TVS Motor Company

Date: 07 Sep 2016 | Author: P.Tharyan

TVS while achieving a good growth in motorcycle sales has recorded negative growth in scooter sales for July 2016. What was the reason for this, especially when the scooter segment is showing a positive growth and you have a strong product in the Jupiter?

The scooter segment has performed consistently well for us and we have a 14 percent market share in scooters and we sell 65,000 scooters every month. We intend to grow our market share in the scooter segment to 16-17 percent. Jupiter is our flagship product and the new MillionR edition that we recently launched with 10 new features has been received well in the market.

We believe the scooter industry is poised to expand and with a wide product portfolio that we have, we will be able to cater to a wide range of consumers with products designed to meet their needs.

How would you describe the performance in terms of sales of your motorcycle brands led by Apache?

The motorcycle segment has witnessed good growth and we have received a very good response for the products we launched this year - TVS Victor and TVS Apache RTR 200. TVS Apache market share is currently 17% and is expected to grow to 22% in the premium segment.  Our market share is growing in all the segments we are present in and we expect the sales to peak during the upcoming festive season. Also with expectations of a good monsoon this year, the rural economy will be benefited leading to higher motorcycle sales.

Overall, do you see the Indian two wheeler market moving away from the commuter segment into a much more value added segment...more premium in nature?

In a country like India, we need to cater to demands of consumers across segments. Our customer inspired engineering approach has enabled us to introduce a complete product portfolio that straddles across the economy, executive and premium segments of the two wheeler market. We believe that all segments will grow with increasing purchasing power with people, this includes the commuter as well as the premium segment.

From a consumer standpoint, gone are the days, when two-wheelers were perceived just as a sign of mobility. Two –wheelers have historically been designed to provide safe, efficient and comfortable rides from point A to point B. Today, the two-wheelers have become a symbol of status; excitement and pride, while continuing to serve their original purpose. Overall, the future of two-wheeler industry  in India for both motorcycles and scooters looks extremely exciting and promising. But generally speaking yes; we see the market upgrading gradually.

You have a tie up with BMW for bikes below 500cc. What’s the progress on this project for both the Indian as well as the global markets?

The project is progressing as per planned schedule and we plan to launch our first 310 cc motorcycle, developed under the common platform with BMW, before the end of this fiscal. Even though both the companies will be using the same platform, each one of us will have our own approach to design and development of the products in line with our focused strategy and targeted markets.

TVS has apparently become aggressive on the motorsport arena. Is it a conscientious move to spread the TVS brand awareness among the youngsters and a bid to promote motorsports related activities among Indians?

TVS Racing is strongly committed to promote two-wheeler racing in India and generate interest and boost support for the sport in India. We have been making continuous efforts to take the sport to as many sections of the society as possible for the past 33 years. TVS Racing has been actively participating on and off- road racing events such as road racing, Super-cross and Motocross, Dirt Tracks, Rally etc. We have won eight championships across all forms of two-wheeler motorsport events - Supercross, Rallies and Road racing last year.

Earlier this year TVS Racing announced that their champion rider Aravind KP will represent TVS Racing in Dakar 2017.  This is the third consecutive year that Sherco-TVS team will be participating in the 39th edition of Dakar Rally (January 2, 2017 – January 14, 2017).  The team also took a historic step when they signed their first woman rally rider – Shreya Sunder Iyer - to race for their team. TVS Racing also added another feather in their cap by announcing an exclusive collaboration with the new Alisha Abdullah Racing Academy for Women– India’s first training school for women racers. They will support the academy with the racing bikes and technical expertise. The academy has shortlisted 18 women riders who will race exclusively for TVS Racing Team in the first year.

What we learn from the racetrack through TVS Racing, we look to build in our Apache RTR motorcycle series making it extremely popular among racing buffs across the country. We are continuously working on improving and refining our motorcycles and this partnership provides an opportunity to develop new technologies that can be adapted for future TVS Apache RTR series motorcycles. The 2016 RTR 450 Racing model is the result of accumulated experience in rally racing and the huge development work done by the engineers.

With monsoons being normal this year, does it bode well for the 2 wheeler segment? Do you see record sales this fiscal 2017?

We believe a good monsoon this year will trigger demand from the rural segment which in turn will benefit the two-wheeler industry. We are systematically investing in brands to attain the desired market share. Our immediate focus is to improve our market share and grow consistently.

 


Tags TVS scooter TVS motorcycles TVS Motor Company Arun Siddharth Himalayan High Season Anam Hashim TVS Scooty Zest 110 Khardung La Leh


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Arun Siddharth
Date - 07 Sep 2016

Head – Marketing (Motorcycles), TVS Motor Company