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SC halts booking of controversial TVS bike

SC halts booking of controversial TVS bike
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First Published: Sat, Jan 19 2008. 12 20 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Jan 19 2008. 12 20 AM IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stopped India’s third largest motorcycle maker,TVS Motor Co. Ltd from taking bookings of its new bike, Flame, until 29 January.
The order came on an application filed by rival Bajaj Auto Ltd, which claims that the TVS bikes use technology that may have infringed upon Bajaj’s own technology, which it has patented.
A division bench headed by Justice H.S. Kapadia also directed the Madras high court to take up the matter on 29 January and grant an appropriate remedy.
The two companies have been locked in a dispute since September last year over a technology called digital twin spark ignition (DTSi), which uses two igniters instead of one for better fuel efficiency—a great driver of purchases in India where consumers are obsessed with cheaper rides. Bajaj claims to have patented this in 2005 and has previously said TVS may have infringed this technology.
On 20 December, the Madras high court had allowed TVS to go ahead with the manufacture and sale of Flame. Bajaj filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court challenging the high court order.
TVS, whose sales have fallen for 10 straight months, started selling Flame in December in Chennai, and expects the model to contribute as much as 40,000 units to the company’s overall sales by the end of this fiscal, as it finds ways to boost volumes.
TVS managing director Venu Srinivasan had said last week that the company expects a decline of 7% in its sales to 1.4 million vehicles this fiscal, in a market which has dropped by 15%, hit by higher interest rates and inadequate financing.
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First Published: Sat, Jan 19 2008. 12 20 AM IST