In order to make its motorcycles more affordable, British premium bikemaker Triumph Motorcycles is planning to foray into the used bike space in the next two-three months, the company confirmed on the sidelines of the launch of its 1200cc Speed Twin model in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The company is also planning to offer financing options on its refurbished models, Shoeb Farooq, general manager, Triumph Motorcycles India told Mint.
“We are coming up with a used superbike program in the next two-three months. It is going to bring down the entry price points for Triumph Motorcycles in India by about 50 percent, thus making it more affordable. We will place new warranty under our extended warranty program on the refurbished models. We have also tied up with HDFC Bank and Pune-based Wheels EMI for second hand bike financing. This is an interesting opportunity," he said.
Harley-Davidson and Ducati are the other two major premium bike brands that are active in the used superbike space in India.
Meanwhile, according to Farooq, Triumph Motorcycles sold about 1,100 units last year and will see similar retail sales during this year too.
The company has rolled out the newest model in its modern classic portfolio, the feature-loaded Triumph Speed Twin with a starting price tag of ₹946,000 (ex-showroom, Mumbai) to attract young customers on board. The motorcycle comes as a completely built unit (CBU) from Triumph Motorcycle’s plant in Thailand under the India-Thailand free trade agreement (FTA).
Triumph Motorcycles started its India operations in November 2013 and has cumulatively sold more than 6,000 premium bikes. Farooq said the modern classic family, which comprises about 10 models as per the company’s India website, contributes roughly 55 percent of the total annual sales.
“10 years ago, the perception of a superbike was that of a fully-faired aggressive-looking sportsbike, which wasn’t easy to handle and ride in the Indian traffic conditions. However, with many brands stepping into the domestic market and the fast evolving awareness around biking applications and safety technologies, this is changing. People now want practical bikes that are easy to handle. Triumph’s modern classic range offer relaxed biking experience," he explained outlining the transition in the premium motorcycle segment.
Farooq sees 500cc-800cc motorcycle category as a big opportunity wherein practical motorcycles will witness demand growth in the coming years. According to the SIAM data, the said category of motorcycles grew from 3,585 units in FY18 to 8,264 units in FY19, thereby recording a growth of about 131 percent YoY, thanks to Royal Enfield, which entered this space with its 650cc Interceptor and Continental GT models last year. Both the latest Royal Enfield models play on their classic appeal too.
Notably, Triumph Motorcycles, a 116-year-old company, does not want to be seen as a heritage brand. Instead, it aims to serve the demands of the millennial riders, who want modern design and the latest technology features.
“Triumph is not a heritage brand and we don’t live in the past. The intent is that we don’t get lost into the laurels of the past. This happens with a lot of old brands. We continue to look into the future and make products that appeal to the younger generation through new technologies, design language and features," clarified the senior company official, arguably referring to the rival brands including Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson.
The company estimates that the average age of a customer for Triumph Motorcycles in India is about 37 years as against 42+ years in other mature global markets.
Triumph Motorcycles’ near term priorities include focus on increasing the completely knocked down (CKD) operations at its Manesar assembly plant, watch the market and set up new dealerships after carefully reviewing the business case for each region, expand product portfolio, work out more affordable price points and boost sales to soon achieve profitability in its Indian operations. The company currently has 16 dealerships pan-India and plans to add another four in 12-18 months.
Triumph Motorcycles’ BSVI compliant Tiger and Street Triple range of bikes are currently undergoing the homologation process, the company told Mint.
“We will start rolling out the BS VI models from Dec 2019 – Jan 2020," added Farooq.