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TVS Motor plans 200cc motorcycle
Chennai-based TVS Motor today said it might venture into the above-200cc segment in the bikes market as it looked to increase its footprint in the two-wheeler business.

The company also said it could launch another bike in the 125cc segment, subject to market requirements.

“If the market demands, we will look into the high-powered bike segment of above-200cc category,” TVS Motor Company President (Marketing) H S Goindi told reporters here.

The company, however, has not decided whether it will be a racing bike or will be branded as ‘Apache’, like the existing bikes in the above-150cc category, he added.

Goindi said TVS might also bring in another bike in the 125cc category, where it has only one model, Flame.

“Flame is satisfying our market requirements but if demand arises, we might look at another bike in the 125cc segment,” Goindi said.

The company has three bikes in the entry-level category including the Sport, Start City and the newly-launched clutchless ‘Jive’, and two bikes in the above 150cc category, the Apache RTR 160 and the Apache RTR 180. Jive was launched this month in the Tamil Nadu market and will be rolled out in the rest of the country from January.

Goindi said TVS was looking at double-digit growth in the two-wheeler market this financial year. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ (SIAM) data, it had sold 1,136,344 units of two-wheelers in the domestic market in 2008-09.

In 2010, TVS plans to launch new variants of its existing bikes. “We will be launching mostly new variants next year. We may also introduce a new model towards the end of 2010,” he said. He said the company had a “good-enough” portfolio with six bikes, two scooters and two mopeds in its stable.

When asked about the likely revision of prices, he said: “We do not have any plans for increasing prices and will review the situation after two-three months.”

The company is also looking to launch diesel auto-rickshaws as part of its strategy to grow in the domestic market.

The company, which started export of its three-wheelers a couple of months back, is also planning to venture into new markets like Bangladesh, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala.

"Our plan is to enter the diesel passenger market in the auto-rickshaw category of three-wheelers and we should be able to accomplish this within 18-24 months," Goindi added. He said the company had a presence in 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke engine segments in petrol, LPG and CNG variants.

The diesel three-wheeler will target the semi-urban and rural markets, he said without disclosing details. TVS Motor today launched its new 200 cc, 4-stroke engine CNG auto rickshaw, TVS King ZS, priced at Rs 1.24 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

TVS Motor Vice-President (Sales & Service) 3-Wheeler K Srinivasan said: "We have just started export to selected countries like Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Egypt and our aim is to sell at least 10,000 units in the overseas markets next fiscal." It expects to end this fiscal with domestic sales of 18,000-20,000 units of three-wheelers and hopes to take it to 30,000 units in 2010-11, he added.

“Sixty per cent of our sales is in the 2-Stroke category, but we expect the ratio between it and 4-Stroke engines to be 50:50 by the next fiscal. This will be on account of new regulations by state governments,” Srinivasan said.

TVS' three-wheeler facility at Hosur has an installed capacity of 100,000 units annually and Srinivasan said it was looking to increase capacity utilisation of the plant.

“We are running at 20 per cent of the total installed capacity and we will now take it up to 40 per cent by the next fiscal,” he said.

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