US-based $4.7-billion Polaris Industries is planning to assemble Indian Motorcycle and terrain vehicles in India. Till now, the company had been importing these vehicles mainly from the US for the domestic market.
Polaris has a joint venture with Eicher in India that manufactures and markets personal utility vehicle Multix. Whether the motorcycles would be assembled by the joint venture or Polaris is not yet decided.
Indian Motorcycle, a wholly-owned division of Polaris Industries, is focused mainly in the 1,200cc market. The brand claims to have a market share of 8-10 per cent in India. The market size, where Polaris is present, is estimated to be 1,000-1,200 units a year.
“With the CKD (completely knocked down) units, Indian Motorcycle's market share (in the country) can double. This is part of our mid-term horizon, which is 2-3 years,” Pankaj Dubey, MD & Country Head, Polaris India Pvt Ltd, told Business Standard. The cost of the motorcycles would also come down considerably, as import duties are high on fully-built vehicles.
Eicher Polaris is looking at launching new products, too, including one before the end of this year and three in the next year. At present, it offers 8-9 products. Dubey also said two new dealers would be added, taking the total to 10.
Polaris Industries is also planning to assemble its all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) — also called quad bikes — in India to be more price competitive.
According to Dubey, the ATV segment has been growing steadily at 15-20 per cent and half of the business is driven by sales in tourist destinations. "Almost 50 per cent of the total sales are attributed to tourist destinations, followed by private parties at 35 per cent. Defense businesses add 15 per cent to the retail volume," said Dubey.
On the challenges facing the automobile sector, Dubey said the year had been challenging due to multiple factors such as the demonetisation, emission norms and the revised tax structure on the back of the roll-out of the goods and services tax. He, however, said that things had started coming back to normal.
With inputs from Shubham Parashar