UM Lohia Two Wheelers, a 50:50
joint venture between UM International, a company based in the US and Ayush
Lohia-controlled Lohia Auto, will be introducing at least two new products in
India in the next one year. One would be a 300cc plus two-wheeler while the
other will be a two-wheeler powered by an engine with less than 300cc capacity.
The company is also exploring setting up a greenfield facility in either South or
West India. It is also planning to enter the growing and lucrative scooter
segment in India.
UM Lohia Two Wheelers
currently makes the Renegade Commando and the Renegade Sports S 300 cc
motorcycles . These were launched in the second half of 2016. Recently the
company launched the Renegade Commando Classic and the Renegade Commando Mojave,
powered by the same engine.
In an exclusive interview with Motown India,
Rajeev Mishra, CEO, UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt Ltd noted, “We also have plans to
get into higher cc and lower cc products. In the next one year you will see at
least two new products coming from our stable, one a bigger cc motorcycle and
one a lower cc one.”
Reiterating this point, Ayush
Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto added, “As far as making this venture stronger, we are
already in discussion where we can get some more product line into India and
also looking at expansion of this category into other segments like the scooter
segment, sport segment or maybe even off road segment. These kind of
opportunity we are already exploring with UM International. We hope to see more
products under the UM brand,” he emphasised.
The greenfield project which
is likely to come up in either south or west India would enable the company to
export its products to overseas markets. Currently the company produces its
motorcycles at the Lohia Auto plant in Kashipur in the state of Uttarakhand. The dedicated production line for the UM
motorcycles at the plant has a capacity to manufacture 60,000 unites per annum
in a single shift which can be further expanded to 100,000 units per annum in
double shift. The plant is equipped with a chassis and a PDI dynamometer where
the company can test a fully built bike.
Lohia further noted, “As I
told you the capacity of the plant is 60,000 units per annum on single shift
and around 100,000 per annum in double shift. What we anticipate is that by
2019-20, we shall be at an optimal level of manufacturing and hence we are
planning a greenfield facility either in south India or in the west. From there
we can also cater to the export market. But that is still in the pipeline.”
“We have been talking about
setting up a new plant in South India with the same partner. We are looking for
space there to cater to markets in south and west. This partnership is
flourishing and is doing well. Most of the components we are getting for this
motorcycle are being sourced from south and west India. Besides, 60pc of our
bikes are being sold in south India while north and east India cater to 40 per
cent of our market. It would make more
sense to have another plant in south India because this facility will exhaust
its capacity by next financial year. This could take one or one and a half
years and it would be a greenfield project,” added Mishra.
The company has some ambitious
plans for exports. It is already exporting its Renegade models in a small way
to the neighbouring countries.
“Next year we shall start
exporting these Renegade models to Europe. We are launching ABS. India is
becoming a hub for higher cc motorcycles and the Renegade Classic segment of
bikes. Today we are actually exporting to Nepal and Bhutan. For Europe we
already have the Euro IV homologation Type. We have not launched the 300cc bike
because we do not have ABS. We have not been able to meet the demand of the
domestic market. Our marketing and advertising is now going to come into place.
Our first priority is to feed our dealers, our Indian consumers. Our main focus
is to consolidate our position in India,” informed Jose Villegas, Global Sales
& marketing Director, UM International, LLC
Villegas noted that India will
eventually become a big development hub for UM motorcycles where bikes would be
sold in the domestic market as well as exported. “It is not what the bike gives
you but what the brand gives you. We think it is an aspirational market. We
also see a shift to higher cc motorcycles happening very rapidly. This 250cc to
400cc segment will pick up sales very quickly. We have a very clear road map
for India market ten years down the road. India is also becoming a very big
development hub for us, not only for the Indian market but for exports also,”
As for the recently launched
new motorcycles, the Renegade Commando Classic and the Renegade Commando
Mojave, the company feels these are exclusive in nature and customers would
love its stylish looks.
“Yes, there was a vacuum in
the segment when it came to more stylish bikes. Consumers are looking for
something exclusive. They are bored with the same bikes, the same looks, etc. I
guess they need some fresh products in the market and that is what we are
offering them”, said Mishra.
Added Jose Villegas, “Cruisers
are a world of customisation. If you look at the big brands in cruisers in higher
cc, there are versions and versions of the cruisers. That is the nice thing
about the cruiser segment. You make some changes, you put some chrome, you do
some cosmetic changes, it then appeals to another kind of customers. But this
Commando Classic particularly has only one purpose in mind—to give the bike to
the customer which is ready for touring which is not available in the market
today. We put premium saddle bags, we have put high leg guards, we have added a
standard windshield and we have added a tank cover with a pouch. The chrome is
appealing to those customers who want bling, bling. The Mojave colour is
inspired by the desert of Mojave in Arizona in the US. We took the existing
Commando which is the largest selling of our product range, and we said let us
dress it for adventure. I believe that this is the most exciting time for any
brand to take up a challenge, to make things with a lot of passion, because
this is how we do things. These products have our signature in them.”
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