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Mobike makers rev up launches in entry-level segment

Mobike makers rev up launches in entry-level segment

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Saturday, Jun 03,2006 7:52 AM

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Mobike makers rev up launches in entry-level segment

70 per cent of motorcycle sales come from bottom of pyramid, 100-110 cc

What sells

The USP has been the features offered by these entry-level bikes — so far available only in executive and premium category bikes - whether they be alloy wheels, sporty silencer, fuel gauge, refreshing colours and graphics, push cancel indicators or ride switch in shock absorbers.

And having the right kind of brand ambassador helps.

Motorcycles manufacturers are scrambling to unlock value at the bottom of the bike pyramid. The reason is not hard to find as the entry-level segment currently constitutes 100-110 cc mobikes accounting for 70 per cent of the total motorcycle sales in India. With the launch of new models, pricing has also become aggressive and currently hovers in the Rs 30,000 to Rs 36,000 range for 100 cc bikes.

While many customers are upgrading to executive and premium levels, the entry-level segment in motorcycles offers huge potential for growth as the motorcycle density in India is just 40 motorcycles per 1,000 persons. And almost half of motorcycle sales are coming from price-sensitive rural markets.

Manufacturers are wooing customers by launching new bikes that satisfy the diverse needs of economy pricing, mileage, pick-up and style. Recent entry-level launches include TVS Star and Bajaj Platina launched by TVS Motor and Bajaj, respectively.

TVS Star has emerged as a challenger in the category dominated for long by CT 100 from the Bajaj stable and CD Dawn from market leader Hero Honda.

Launched late last year, StarCity has emerged as the fastest growing entry-level bike in the country, posting sales upwards of 50,000 per month during the last few months. In April 2006 alone, over 65,000 units of Star City were sold.

The USP has been the features offered by these entry-level bikes — so far available only in executive and premium category bikes - whether they be alloy wheels, sporty silencer, fuel gauge, refreshing colours and graphics, push cancel indicators or ride switch in shock absorbers. And having the right kind of brand ambassador helps.

For instance, TVS Motor is looking to Mahendra Singh Dhoni to do the star turn for Star City.

"The image of Dhoni as a small town boy making it big in international cricket is a strategic fit with our brand TVS StarCity that appeals to youngsters who look up to Dhoni as their role model and wish to be stars of tomorrow. We have also launched an advertising campaign for StarCity with the baseline `Jitna Dum Utna Style' that characterises both Dhoni and StarCity," says Mr Prasad Narasimhan, Vice-President (Marketing), TVS Motor Company.

Similarly, Bajaj Platina, the newly-launched 100 cc bike from Bajaj, is priced aggressively between Rs 34,000 and 36,000.

The company is promoting the bike for its style quotient and fuel efficiency and believes that Platina will help improve its market share in the highly competitive entry-level segment.

Clearly, it pays to know which end of the mobike pyramid sells.

Tags: e4m

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