It announced the launch of three products, the Fascino 125 FI (Fuel Injected), Ray ZR 125 FI and Street Rally 125 FI. The management said it believed the current economic slowdown was temporary. “We are bullish about India,” says Shitara. The firm says there is a huge and aspirational population of the young, looking for premium products with a differentiation.
The focus in motorcycles, said the chairman, would be the premium and deluxe segments. In the premium motorcycle segment, it increased the market share from 8.5 per cent last year to 9.6 per cent this year. However, volume would be driven by scooters. The segment is now 40-45 per cent of its sales and the chairman said he expected this to change; half of sales for the industry is coming from scooters.
Annual production capacity is 1.7 million units, with the focus mainly on the urban market.
Asked about electric vehicles, Shitara noted it sold these in some other countries, with a launch this year in Taiwan. Infrastructure and cost were important for the segment in India, he said; initial cost for the consumer was also high.
The company's India investment in the past four years was Rs 1,500 crore for its production facilities; it invested another Rs 14 crore on BS-VI technology. Its outlets are also getting a changed design and technology support.
Ravinder Singh, its senior vice-president for strategy and planning, says 2019 is a tough year for the industry.
Its new scooters would take on Hero, Honda, TVS, Suzuki and others. The 125cc scooter segment is around 1.3 million units at present and growing at 7.6 per cent compared to 2018, while the entire industry saw a decline, said Singh. The segment saw a growth of 200 per cent from 2015 to 2019.
"We are doing away with our 110cc products and are going to focus on the 125cc new range of scooters. Production of the new products will be starting from January. We are looking at 192,000 vehicles for the Fascino and 116,000 for Ray sales in 2020," he says. The new 125cc will give, says the company, 16 per cent more mileage and 30 per cent increase in power output.
The Fascino 125 FI has been priced at Rs 66,430 to Rs 69,930, ex-showroom, in Delhi.