The rising two wheeler manufacturer of the Indian market, Mahindra Two Wheelers is planning to launch an Upgraded version of Rodeo RZ scooter. Recently, We recently had an interaction with Mr, Viren Popli, Executive Vice President, Mahindra Two Wheeler. He talked about the frequent growth of the company and future market plans. They also hint towards the launch of the new Rodeo RZ scooter at the upcoming 2014 Indian Auto Expo.
When we asked about the updates for the scooter segment, Mr Popli said, "The Rodeo RZ will be seeing some upgrades sooner than the media thinks. I wouldn't like to comment much about this, but be assured that an updated model will be out soon."
Q.1) Mahindra Centuro is doing quite well in the market which is evident from your year on year growth figures. According to you, what makes this bike more successful than your previous offerings?
The fact that the bike has so many features that are first in it's segment makes the Centuro a success. The Centuro comes packed with features like an intelligent fuel gauge system and a distance to empty gauge. The Bike also has a flip key with a flashlight on it, equipped with an immobilizer and a find me button that helps one locate the bike amidst the sea of motorcycles in a parking lot. These features set the bike apart from the competition in the entry level segment.
Q.2) What is your current production capacity at the Pithampura facility, is it running on full capacity?
The Pithampura plant is not set up to produce 1200 motorcycles per day. In the next three to four months this same facility will be increased to produce 2000 motorcycles per day.
Q.3) At the time of Centuro launch, Mr. Anand Mahindra announced that the company would be looking at bringing in new products as well as upgrades of the existing model line up. But somehow since then the market has not seen anything new or any new upgrades from Mahindra. Are you looking to launch new products at 2014 Auto Expo?
Our presence will be felt at the 2014 Auto Expo, we have just received four new patents for out indigenous technologies, including the micro-hybrid start stop feature which will now be seen on the new Centuro and some of our other products. As for the Auto Expo I cannot comment on what we will be doing.
Q.4) There was an announcement of introducing the Mojo 300 motorcycle in the Indian market as well as a strip down version of the 110cc commuter - Pantero. When according to you will Indian consumers be able to see these bikes in the market?
The Mojo when it was unveiled was just a concept. The masses were taken aback by the design but ever since then we at Mahindra Two Wheelers have been making multiple changes to the motorcycle. Our Pune plant is developing a special 300cc motor that is being greatly influenced by the MotoGP Mahindra Racing Team. The Bike still has a lot of progress and development to go through. The bike is still under rigorous testing but there is no definite time scale as to when we can have the bike displayed for the public.
Q.5) Recently, we heard that the Indian two-wheeler manufacturers would be increasing their prices by 2015, due to the stricter emission norms. Could you throw some light on this topic as to what could be the way forward for the industry as well as the consumer himself?
The prices of the final product can only increase by a small margin. There is a large team working in R&D figuring out what alternative materials could be used as well as substituting equipment for assembly etc. Inflation rate is about 8% but with yearly price hikes and labour charges increasing, the company cannot really increase the price of their products by a lot. Hence we have a huge team working on sourcing different materials etc so that we can keep the price of the Bike very competitive.
Q.6) Your latest product in automatic scooter segment is Rodeo RZ, which was launched more than a year ago. So what are your current and future plans for the fastest growing segment? Are there any new products in the pipeline?
The Rodeo RZ will be seeing some upgrades sooner than the media thinks. I wouldn't like to comment much about this, but be assured that an updated model will be out soon.