TVS rolls out 7 vehicles, forays into 3-wheelers

TVS Motor Company, the country's third largest two-wheeler maker, today created a launch record of sorts in the Indian automobile market by rolling out seven new vehicles, including a three-wheeler and an electric scooter.

The products will be launched in a phased manner between October and November this year and the prices will be announced at the time of the launch, the company chairman and managing director Venu Srinivasan said.

The company made its first foray in the three-wheeler market with the launch of a 200cc, two-stroke three-wheeler in three versions � petrol, LPG and CNG (factory fitted). The company will manufacture these vehicles at its greenfield facility at Hosur, which has a capacity of 100,000 units per annum.

H S Goindi, sr vice president (three-wheeler), TVS Motor Company said, "The three-wheeler market has grown faster than commercial vehicles, and two-wheelers in the last five years at a rate of 18% CAGR. We feel that as the economy develops, the public transport system will not be able to cope up with the demand. A large section of the public will turn to autorickshaws for their transport. So, there is a big growth potential for us."

Indian three-wheeler output in 2006-07 was 5.56 lakh units, of which, the market leader was Bajaj Auto, accounting for 57% share. But during April-July (2007-08), Piaggio caught up with a market share of 41%, against 42% of Bajaj Auto. Bajaj Auto's products are priced in the range of Rs 56,000 to Rs 75,000 (ex-factory). TVS is likely to price them a bit lower.

Goindi said TVS aims to capture at least 30% of the three-wheeler market in the next three years.

He said the company will also come out with a cargo version of the three-wheeler in petrol, LPG and CNG platforms. The CNG and LPG market is rapidly expanding as more state governments are encouraging cleaner fuels. The company also intends to launch their autos in the 4-stroke engine category in the next 6 months in all the three variants, Goindi added.

The company also aims to export the three-wheelers and is looking at an opportunity to assemble them its Indonesia plant in about a year's time, Goindi said.

The cargo version of the three-wheeler would be in the diesel category at a payload capacity of one-tonne. The vehicle is fitted with a higher capacity engine with the peak torque at lower rpm to take care of gradability without frequent gearshifts.


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