Greaves addresses Ampere chassis breakage issue

Instances of Ampere Magnus EX scooters’ front chassis breaking into two have been reported from Meerut, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan. (Mint)
Instances of Ampere Magnus EX scooters’ front chassis breaking into two have been reported from Meerut, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan. (Mint)

Summary

Greaves’s e-two-wheeler arm issues advisories to dealers, offers new parts

NEW DELHI : Greaves Cotton’s electric mobility unit, which owns two-wheeler brand Ampere, has issued advisories to its dealers in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, and Madhya Pradesh to fix potential chassis-related issues after reports of breakages in the main frame chassis tube of its flagship Magnus model surfaced.

Instances of Ampere Magnus EX scooters’ front chassis breaking into two have been reported from Meerut, Uttarakhand, and Rajasthan. One incident occurred last week when an Ampere Magnus EX broke down on a busy road in Meerut.

Greaves told Mint that it strengthened its chassis in September when it had first learned of the instances of breakages in vehicles with heavy-duty cycles in specific terrains in north India, and all the products it has rolled out since then have not seen any issues.

For the over 65,000 scooters it had sold before September, the company is issuing advisories to dealers based on “real-time data" and root-cause analysis of the cases reported to the company. It said the extent of incidents was sporadic, and issuing advisories in specific markets was sufficient to cater to the current extent of the problem. “If in the future our data ever suggest any structural or process-related issues, we will be ahead of the market to issue a recall as safety and quality are paramount for us," said Sanjay Behl, executive director and chief executive, Greaves Electric Mobility.

Ampere has been issuing advisories to dealers for weeks now, providing them with new parts to reinforce the gusset plate. However, there have been reports of customers and dealers taking matters into their own hands by having local welders fix the broken chassis. Dealers have also been instructed to inspect the scooters for other faults related to services and repairs.

“As part of our standard practice, we do send out a regular communication to dealers for quality improvement and upgrade solutions, if any. Our process also includes proactive advisory on any customer feedback-related quality upgrades that may be required at any point in time. In this specific case, we attended to customer feedback on a real-time basis and identified improvements in a few markets with heavy-duty cycles. We have integrated upgraded process in our manufacturing operation and didn’t receive any reported instance on these vehicles," Behl said.

Greaves’s Ampere has a strong presence in tier-2 and tier-3 markets in north India but is facing a challenge from rivals in the startup space. Bajaj Auto has introduced a range of lower-cost variants of its Chetak EV, and TVS Motor Co. is also expanding the coverage of its iQube market. Ola Electric and Ather Energy have been topping the sales charts when it comes to electric two-wheeler startups, as brands like Hero Electric and Okinawa, which would earlier dominate the electric two-wheeler market, suffer a sustained drop in sales.

Greaves Cotton has over 750 touchpoints for its EV business, and 50% of its sales are derived from markets other than tier-1 and 2 cities. It plans to open 20-25 new touchpoints every quarter. Ampere sold over 5,800 electric two-wheelers in February, according to Vahan vehicle registration data.

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