Mumbai: Luxury American superbike maker Indian Motorcycle, which is eyeing to corner 15 percent market share this year, has taken a strategic decision to introduce its cheapest model - the 1,000-cc Scout 60 - in the country.
The company, which has been focusing on 1200-cc and above category bikes segment in India, is also expecting to break even its domestic operations before 2020.
"We will be commercially launching the 1,000-cc Scout 60 next month and the 1,800-cc Springfield by September," Polaris India Managing Director Pankaj Dubey told PTI here.
The American offroader company Polaris Industries Inc owns Indian Motorcyle brand.
"We hope to break even both our businesses, the offroader business of Polaris and the bikes business under Indian Motorcycle, before 2020," Dubey said.
Priced at Rs 11.99 lakh, the Scout 60 is the lightest bike in terms of engine capacity as well as price point made by the company, Dubey said.
The company will also roll out the 1800-cc Springfield - the name derives from the place where Indian Motorcycle was born - in the country by September at Rs 30.6 lakh, making it the costliest and the heaviest model from its stable, he added.
Indian Motorcycle, which sells six models now -- the Roadmaster, Chief, Scout 1, Chieftain, Chief Dark Horse 2 and the Chief Vintage 3 with a price tag of Rs 13.8 lakh to Rs 38 lakh in the market since May 2011 - had announced the prices of these two new models in April.
Dubey parried direct answer on whether bringing in the Scout 60 indicates the company is focusing on volume growth as competition is rising manifold, but said the superbikes market is still nascent in the country.
"We are growing at a pretty good clipping at 40-45 per cent so far this year. I am confident of meeting the 50 per cent sales jump we have targeted for this year and corner 15 per cent of the market share," Dubey said.
Competition is increasing with the presence of as many as 15 players, with the costliest being the Italian MV Augusta which entered last month through a marketing tie-up with the Firodias, offering three models in the Rs 17 - 50 lakh range.
In 2015-16, the superbikes industry (500-cc and above) witnessed a paltry volume growth of 2.85 per cent at 10,234 units, from 9,940 units in the previous fiscal.
The mass volume market too grew at 2.7 per cent to 1,89,37,104 units.
As per industry reports, superbikes market clipped at 91 per cent CAGR between FY2012 and FY2016, from 773 units to 10,224 units.
With rising incomes and the growing biking culture, the market underwent some dramatic shift in FY2016 with the volume massively shifting in favour of above 500-cc or above Rs 5 lakh models.
In FY2015, out of the 9,940 units sold almost 65 per cent or 5,828 units were under 500-cc models, while in FY2016, this became just the opposite -- 6,342 of the 10,224 units were above 500-cc models, according to industry estimates.
The market is led by American Harley Davidson with close to 5,000 units, followed by the Italian brands Benelli (over 2,400 units) and Ducati (600 units) and Japanese Kawasaki selling over 100 units a year.
Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha from Japan are also present apart from BMW Motorrad, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia Piaggio, Hyosung of Korea and Regal Raptor from China and KTM among others.
On dealership expansion, Dubey said out of the six targeted for this year, two will be ready by July in Chandigarh and by September in Kochi.
The remaining four will come up before December in Pune, Kolkata, Indore and Goa.
Its existing showrooms are in Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The 1,000-unit per annum domestic super premium bikes market is dominated by the American Harley Davidson, the Japanese Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and also the European brand Triumph.
But a few months ago, the world's costliest bike brand MV Augusta from Italy has also entered the market through a tie-up with Firodia family of Pune.
Indian Motorcycle is the oldest American brand of motorcycles originally produced from 1901 to 1953 in Massachusetts.
It was founded by Oscar Hedstrom as Hendee Manufacturing Co and went belly up in 1953.
In 1928, it was renamed as Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company. In 2011, the American all-terrain off-roaders and leisure vehicles maker Polaris Industries bought Indian Motorcycle and shifted operations to Spirit Lake, Iowa from North Carolina.
Polaris is the leader in off-road and all-terrain vehicles (for recreational and utility purposes), snowmobiles, motorcycles and electric-powered vehicles) in the country, serving the Army, BSF, ITBP and many state police forces since the past four decades.
Dubey was in the city to launch the 54th Polaris Experience Zone, which aims at serving adventure and motorsports enthusiasts better by offering them the thrill of riding the power sport vehicles.
(with agency inputs)