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Chennai, April 24 (IANS) The Rs.42 crore turnover DSK Motowheels that assembles and sells high-end South Korean Hyosung motorbikes plans to set up a fullfledged motorcycle plant in Maharashtra, a company official said Wednesday.
The company plans to enter the small bike segment market and is also open for divestment in favour of the S and T Motors of South Korea, the official said.
The DSK Motowheels is a part of Rs.5,000 crore DSK Group with diversified interests.
"We are planning to set up a motorcycle plant in Maharashtra at an outlay of around Rs.350 crore. The plan is to enter the 125cc and 150cc motorcycle segments by developing the engine. We will also export the engines," Shirish Kulkarni, managing director, told reporters here.
According to him, the proposed 125cc motorcycle will be marketed under the Hyosung brand.
Queried about S and T Motors taking a stake in the Indian company given its big plans, Kulkarni said: "I would like to have their investments here. We have sounded out the proposal to them. But I don't see that (S and T Motors investing) happening as of now."
According to him, a lot of ideas are being discussed with the Korean company.
He said the construction work on the new plant on a 100-acre land near Pune is expected to start in three to four months time and full fledged manufacturing, including for exports is expected to take in three to four years time.
Currently DSK Motowheels assembles five high-end motorcycles with the kits imported from South Korea at its plant near Pune.
"When our new plant starts functioning, we will move the entire production there," Kulkarni said.
Speaking about the company's performance, Kulkarni said the company sold 1,200 units last year and has a target of 2,000 units this fiscal.
"We sell five models ranging from 250cc to 700cc. One more 250cc bike will be added to our portfolio this year," he said.
DSK Motowheels sells Hyosung's Aquila Pro (650cc sports cruiser) GT 250R (250cc sports bike), GT650R (650cc sports bike), ST 7 (700cc Cruiser bike) and GT 650N (650cc naked sports bike).
Kulkarni said the company is logging around 60 percent growth and will add 10 more dealers to the current number of 25.
Interestingly, DSK Motowheels is the third company to sell the Hyosung branded high-end bikes in India. First it was the Pune-based Kinetic group that imported Aquila bikes and sold them here.
Later, Garware Motors entered into a technical tie-up with S and T Motors to assemble and sell the bikes before selling the business to DSK Motowheels.
According to Shivapada Ray, general manager-sales and marketing, there is no negative impact on the sales due to the fact that the Hyosung bikes were earlier sold by Kinetic Motor Group and Garware Motors.
"Buyers now feel more comfortable as we assemble the bikes here and with our after- sales service," Ray said.
Kulkarni said the company has invested around Rs.70 crore after it acquired the business from Garware Motors for an unspecified sum.