Two-wheeler cos smile as small towns warm up to big bikes
With purchasing power on the rise among small town residents, makers of super bikes such as Harley Davidson, Triumph and DSK are looking to the hinterland to expand their market.
The market for high-end motorcycles in India is expected to be around 10,000 units this year, and companies and dealers say sales are expanding rapidly not just in metros but also in small towns.
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Pune-based DSK Motowheels, for instance, has expanded its dealer network for Korean Hyosung motorcycles to small towns like Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolhapur, Siliguri, Surat, Dimapur and Aizawl among other cities.
DSK will launch its range of high-end motorcycles from the Italian bike maker Benelli's stable in January. It is lining up 20 dealerships for Benelli across the country.
"There is an increasing ability to spend among the people in small towns as income levels are on the rise. Banks are also coming forward with finance schemes, which is driving sales," Sachin Bhaiya, deputy general manager - marketing, DSK Motowheels, told HT at the Autocar Performance Show.
DSK is selling 20-25 superbikes on an average per month in top seven cities in India, and 6-7 bikes in small towns, according to Bhaiya.
"You see cities like Surat, Jalander etc are smaller to say Delhi or Mumbai, with less traffic, hence people here can enjoy these machines within city limits. We have had a lot of interest from cities in Punjab, MP and UP," said Vimal Sumbly, MD, Triumph Motorcycles India.
US giant Harley-Davidson will debut in Surat next year. Other smaller towns that already have Harley owners are also on the company's expansion map, according to Anoop Prakash, MD, Harley-Davidson India. "We've seen a great response from cities such as Pune, Goa, Jaipur and Indore, where we opened our dealership last year. We believe smaller cities will contribute in a big way to the next level of growth where there already exists a passion for leisure motorcycling," he said.