With the launch of the 100-cc 4-stroke TVS Centra priced at Rs. 36,990, two-wheeler major TVS Motor (TVS-M) is eyeing a larger share of the pie in the executive motorcycles segment. The USP is its higher fuel efficiency, made possible by the VT-i engine that claims to give 10% better fuel efficiency than other motorcycles in the segment.
Driving home this claim, the company has positioned Centra as a ‘fill-it-once-a-month bike’. “You get your salary once a month; you pay all your utility bills once a month; so why should you have to tank up your bike twice or thrice a month? With the new TVS-Centra, you will only have to fill er’ up once a month,” emphasizes Venu Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS-M.
Inviting people to check out the product, Centra comes with a direct marketing campaign. Promoting the new offering through a mobile marketing mantra to pique the curiosity of potential customers, a number of mobile vans ensconcing the Centra will be spotted all over the Capital, flagged off yesterday by Srinivasan. TVS-M will shortly be launching an ad campaign. Satchi & Satchi handle the creatives. “The focus will be built on established fuel economy in consumer terminology – the fill-it-once-a-month bike,” says Srinivasan.
The executive segment is the largest among motorcycles with a combined sales of 3-million units per annum, accounting for over 50% of the 5-million two wheelers produced in the country. “We wanted to offer multiple choices to our customers in the executive segment. And we hope to sell at least 3-lakh units of Centra in 2004-05,” cites Srinivasan on the reason behind launching a second bike in the executive segment.
TVS-Motor has spent Rs 100-crore on the plant, R&D and other development expenses on TVS Centra. “We have absolute passion for technology and customers. And the technology will offer tangible benefits to customers,” points out Srinivasan. “We have set an internal target to sell 1.2 million motorcycles and 1.6 million two wheelers in 2004-05,” he continues.
The company has lined up two more motorcycles this year. Although TVS-M officials remain tightlipped, sources say it includes an upgraded 125-cc Victor and a 4-stroke Max 100. Besides, the existing 110-cc TVS Victor will continue to exist.
The main question is - won’t the launch of multiple products in one segment eat the sales of the other? “No, it won’t. We believe that with the launch of the 125 cc Victor, the high-end customers of the executive segment will opt for that,” comments a TVS spokesperson. On multiple choices, Srinivasan is clear about the ground where TVS-M would want to play, “In the near future, we will be launching motorcycles that will be below 150 cc.”
R Chandramouli, Vice President – Marketing, TVS-M opines that the company will target fixed income earners in urban markets and in the age group of 21-35 years, which can be extended up to 40 years. “TVS Centra will be the first motorcycle in India, which will bundle price, mileage, maintenance, style, reliability, power, ruggedness and comfort,” he states.