Thursday, 15 March 2012

Triumph Motors to set up bike assembly plant in Karnataka



UK-based premium bike-maker Triumph Motorcycles has zeroed in on the southern State of Karnataka for its local assembly plant, which may start well within a year. It had previously held talks with States such as Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra for the same.

Its third such facility globally after the UK and Thailand, the Indian plant will help Triumph price its models more competitively in the world's second-largest two wheeler market. This strategy follows another niche player, Harley-Davidson's, which started similar operations at a facility in Haryana last year.

Triumph signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka Government about a month back, an official close to the development told. One of the pre-requisites for the location had been proximity to a port for both importing completely knocked-down (CKD) kits and later exporting bikes, if required.

“About 40 acres of land has been identified by the company at Narasapur (Kolar district) on the Bangalore-Chennai highway. This is about 50 km from Honda's upcoming motorcycle plant,” the official said.The brand, which launched itself in India at the Auto Expo in January, is looking to assemble the Bonneville, Street Triple, Speed Triple and Daytona 675 models locally.

Later, it may consider full manufacturing as well.“We are gearing up to commence our Indian operations at the earliest. Of the seven motorcycles that will be entering the market, we will be assembling four of our bike models in India. We will be looking at setting up the CKD assembly facility in a propitious location,” the company said in a reply to emailed queries.Starting from July, up to four dealerships will be appointed in 2012, with a target of around 12 outlets within the next three years. Triumph's local headquarters will likely be in Delhi, sources said.

“While the plant would take around a year to come up, the bike models would be launched earlier to build excitement around the brand. Though initially imported as fully-built units, the pricing will be kept on the lower side keeping in mind the reduced costs after local assembly starts,” a source said.

Premium bike-makers present in India include Ducati and BMW Motorrad, apart from high-end models from Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda and Korean player Hyosung. Starting from around Rs 5 lakh and going up to around Rs 45 lakh, most of these models are imported into the country.

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