What’s in store for 2016?
Modified On Jan 8, 2016 By Sameer Sheikh
Last decade has been quite fruitful for the Indian two-wheeler market. Manufacturers have shown us that the commuter segment which is their bread and butter can look stylish and that there’s always room for improvement.The Indian market keeps proving to have a lot of potential for manufacturers and hence we can look forward to continued investments in the two-wheeler segment of the automotive industry.
Indian Two Wheeler Market
Indian Two-Wheeler market is the largest in the world in terms of volume of production and sales. Between 2006 and 2014, the country registered 9.5 growth rate. Perceiving the importance of Indian two-wheeler market, most of the manufacturers have set up their plants in the country or looking to set up one soon. Companies are launching attractive motorcycles at affordable prices and constantly modernizing their designs and technology making sure they stay up to date with the latest trends. Manufacturers are listening to the needs of customers and making it into reality. By the end of 2014, the global two-wheeler business including designing, manufacturing, engineering and selling was at an average of US$ 3.5 billion per manufacturer, while India’s Hero Motocorp - world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, clocked an average of US$ 15 billion.
Let’s take a look what we have seen during the year 2015 and what's in store for us next year:
Foreign Companies Entered the Indian Market:
After the success of Ducati, another Italian manufacturer MV Agusta finally entered the biggest two-wheeler market, India. The company has signed a partnership contract with Pune-based Kinetic Group. This year India has also welcomed another Italian manufacturer, Benelli. The company has got a decent response from Indian two-wheeler buyers and has carved a niche for itself in the country. Recently, Benelli launched its smallest displacement motorcycle, The Benelli TNT 25. Keeping buyers needs in mind, they priced the TNT 25 attractively at Rs. 1.68 lac (Ex-Showroom, Delhi). The third company to land on Indian soil is Regal Raptor. Having its roots in China, Regal Raptor has an interesting story behind its formation. Presently, Regal Raptor offers three motorcycles in India.
Concepts that are Expected in Future:
The year 2015 brought us many surprises and we witnessed many futuristic technologies. Manufacturers keep enthralling us with new concept motorcycles every year and they didn't disappoint this year either. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki Introduced a luggage-carrying scooter, Hustler Scoot with a lot of storage spaces while the German car maker Volkswagen came up with an electric scooter named, Last Mile Surfer. This one of a kind three-wheeler can be placed in the boot of the car. Yamaha grabbed all the attention at this year's Tokyo Motor Show when it showcased a three-wheeled motorcycle called MWT-9, which is based on a ‘Cornering Master’ concept. The company also presented MOTOBOT, which is an all-new concept featuring the motorcycle-riding humanoid robot. The company has used its supersport motorcycle YZF-R1M as the reference bike for the concept. It is developed under the concept of “Beyond Human Capabilities”.
New Manufacturing Plants and R&D Centers:
Hero is all set to inaugurate a new R&D centre in the Pink City of India, Jaipur with an investment of Rs 450 crore. The centre will be inaugurated on January 14, 2016, at Kukas, near Jaipur. The new facility will be called Hero Centre of Global Innovation and Research and Design. The R&D centre will have a team of 400 experienced engineers working on upcoming projects and the Gurgaon and Dharuhera centres will be shifted to this new facility located in the outskirts of Jaipur.
Apart from Hero, Husqvarna, a dirt bike manufacturer and a subsidiary of KTM is likely to make India a hub for production and export of its motorcycles. The Austrian automaker is planning to carry out the manufacturing process in collaboration with Bajaj at its Chakan’s facility near Pune. According to the reports of Economic Times, the bikes will be exported from India via CKD route and will be assembled at the KTM’s facility Austria.
Nation’s pride Royal Enfield has added another feather to its cap. The company is all set to start its manufacturing facility in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. The construction of the facility may start anytime soon. Other than Leicestershire, the company is also planning to have another plant in Chennai besides two of its functional plants.
Legendary American motorcycle maker, Indian Motorcycles went through a series of changes in ownerships and finally it was taken over by Polaris in 2011. Since then, the company has never looked back and continues to launch beautifully built machines. The market has given them a warm response which has led the company to ponder on setting up a facility in India. During his recent visit to India, J P Williams, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Polaris Industries said, “One of the five strategic pillars of Polaris is international growth and developing markets like India and China becomes naturally important. We see a tremendous opportunity for the bikes we make and building the Indian Motorcycle brand.”