The Venu Srinivasan-led TVS Motor Company is riding on design and style for future growth in the motorcycle industry after a nearly existential focus on engineering and step up biking technologies all along.
It is looking to revv up sales with an aspirational portfolio of bikes beginning with the recent launches - the entry level StaR City and Apache 150 cc.
The Rs 3,000-crore company is seen bolstering its design quotient by taking exposure to the leading European studios, especially in Milan.
The two-wheeler major has been visiting top design schools for recruitment as part of a corporate move towards more aspirational products.
And the results are speeding in with the company's sales reporting 25%, 16% and 31% jump in the first three months of '06 putting it firmly on robust double-digit growth track following an indifferent phase with sales of the much talked about first indigenous bike Victor slackening.
“While fuel efficiency remains a major factor, the next differentiation would be elements of design and style.
Motorcycles are fast emerging as a means of making a statement by a whole new generation of youngsters than just a fuel-efficient mode of transport that the two-wheelers were perceived not very long ago,” said K N Radhakrishnan, President, TVS Motor Company.
Further accentuating the style element, the company plans to launch an entire range of biking accessories like helmets, jackets, gloves and goggles under the Apache brand.
Incidentally, responding to the growth indicators, the TVS Motor stock price has risen by nearly 30% in the last few weeks.
The leading sectoral analysts have published forecast reports placing Apache and StaR City as challengers to the segment leaders - Bajaj's Pulsar and CT-100, respectively.
For the entry level bet StaR is expected to almost double its sales to Rs 6 lakh in the current financial year from 3.31 lakh in last year.
Apache, launched in select markets in January, is project to sell over a lakh units at the premium segment in the ongoing year cornering 20/22% share.