Mahindra expands scooter range with two launches
MUMBAI: In a bid to capture the million-strong automatic scooter market, Mahindra 2 Wheelers — the two-wheeler manufacturing arm of the Mahindra Group, today expanded its product line-up by launching two gearless scooters — Rodeo and Duro.
These are the first indigenously developed products of the company after it took over the assets of the Pune-based Kinetic Motors — including 180-190 dealer outlets and manufacturing facilities — in July last year for Rs 110 crore. Since the past one year, Flyte — an ungeared scooter from SYM — was the only mass-selling product available from the company through its expanded two-wheeler dealership. Anand Mahindra Both the new products are powered by a 125cc engine sourced from its technology partner, SYM. The Duro is priced at Rs 38,299, while the Rodeo carries a price tag of Rs 41,299 (ex-showroom, Pune), making these the cheapest scooters in their segment. Design expertise for the scooters came from Italy’s Engines Engineering, a company which M and M had bought earlier. M and M will compete for space in the scooter segment with market leader Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), which holds a 57 per cent market share, followed by TVS Motors, which has a share of 21 per cent as of last financial year.
Mahindra Group Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra said: “The amount of growth seen in the two-wheeler space has been something nobody could ignore. We have turned around a plant (Kinetic Motors plant) which needed re-engineering. We have planned a number of products which would cater to all the segments of the two-wheeler space and gradually we will enter them.” M and M has targeted a ramp-up in production to 100,000 units per annum within two years, which will accommodate the newly-launched scooters, as well as 48,000 units of the Flyte and minor numbers from Kinetic’s other models, such as Nova, 4S and Kine. However, senior executives also hinted today about the possible phase-out of Kinetic products, as demand for these remains subdued. M and M President (two-wheeler section) Anoop Mathur stated that the company is not averse to launching motorcycles even in the 100cc segment and that the company is in various stages of developing motorcycles that will address a variety of demand in the domestic and the international market.
Although the 100cc motorcycle segment (commonly known as the entry-level segment) constitutes about two-third’s of the motorcycle market, it has been reporting a declining trend over the past few years. “Our scooter portfolio has been beefed and is ready to address the market. We will get into the premium and high-end segment over time. Our motorcycles will hit the market in the next two years,” said Mathur. Mahindra currently has a dealership size of 300 outlets and a further 50-70 outlets will be added in the next eight months. Meanwhile, hinting at further inorganic expansion plans, Mahindra said that the company is “completely open” to forging an alliance with any company that has the technological expertise and valuable experience in building two-wheelers. However, he further clarified that it already has a partner (SYM) and that no concrete moves have been made to bring onboard an additional partner. Company executives also stated that Mahindra two-wheelers had recently made arrangements for finance with the help of four non-banking finance companies. Honda Dio, Honda Eterno and Honda Activa are the popular products in this segment.