Auto firms bet big on premium bikes

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 07, 2014 04:48 hrs

In two days, two dozen premium bikes were either showcased or launched by seven companies at the Auto Expo. All will make their way to showrooms.

All launches by Hero MotoCorp, Triumph, Hyosung, Honda, Suzuki, Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Harley-Davidson are priced above Rs 150,000. Their engine capacities start from 250cc and go up to 750cc.

British company Triumph Motorcycles on Thursday launched the Daytona 675, a three-cylinder bike, at Rs 1,015,000 (ex-showroom Delhi). This is the 11th model by the company in India.

Vimal Sumbly, managing director, India, said, "With this, Triumph Motorcycles will offer two super sport variants. The demand for such performance bikes in India has been growing rapidly."

Korean company DSK Hyosung launched the Aquila 250, a cruiser bike at Rs 269,000 (ex-showroom Delhi). This will be the cheapest Hyosung on sale in India, beating the GT250, Rs 275,000.

Hyosung also had the GD250 N, RT 125D and the Comet 250, all could be launched in India, on display at its stall.

Bikes sales with engine capacities above 800cc grew 47 per cent during April to December. With an average of Rs 600,000 and going up to Rs 25,00,000, the segment saw a sale of 1,500 units during the period, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) said.

However, the segment between 250cc and 800cc grew faster. With sales of 143,713 units, it posted a growth of 65 per cent against 86,905 units against a year ago.

Shirish Kulkarni, chairman, said, "The Indian superbike market has grown manifold and is doubling every two years." The demand swing has attracted even mass-market brand Hero MotoCorp that unveiled on Wednesday a 620-cc bike, Hastur. It showcased a 250-cc sport bike HX250R. Bajaj Auto, too, unveiled the Pulsar SS400 followed by the Pulsar CS400.

With inputs from Sharmistha Mukherjee

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