Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 10, 2006
Alliances & Joint Ventures
Kinetic, Taiwanese co tie up to manufacture scooters New roll-out in nine months
Ms Sulajja F. Motwani
Pune , Feb. 9
KINETIC Motor Company and Taiwanese two-wheeler manufacturer Sanyang Industry Co Ltd (SYM) on Thursday announced plans to manufacture a range of scooters from SYM's global portfolio in India.
The alliance is also exploring other possibilities, including SYM sourcing components, vehicle aggregates and entire vehicles manufactured at Kinetic, Ms Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Joint Managing Director, told presspersons here at the unveiling of a range of SYM scooters.
The first of the vehicles to be manufactured by the alliance under the KineticSym tag will be an automatic scooter in the volumes segment, according to Ms Motwani. The scooters, to be manufactured at its Pithampur facility, will roll out in nine months.
"We are focussed on the first launch just now but are targeting the second vehicle launch between 18-24 months from then,'' she said adding the first two wheeler would be in the 7-10,000 units/month sales segment.
"SYM has a range of motorcycles but we have decided that we will study the market extensively to determine what kind of motorcycle this market needs and develop it from scratch here but not just yet,'' Ms Motwani said.
With a range of European scooters from Italjet awaiting launch beginning next week and the SYM alliance now gearing up to get into the market, Kinetic is hoping to reclaim its position as the country's number one modern scooter manufacturer.
"The automatic scooter market is witnessing rapid growth and we will have products in every segment from the mass, to the convenience driven to the premium end,'' Ms Motwani said.
Exclusive outlets: The company, which has over 400 dealerships, is also in the process of putting up exclusive `Kinetic Automatics' outlets which will be one-stop destinations for its entire range of automatic scooters from Kinetic, SYM and Italjet.
"We plan to take these showrooms, which will be in the main metros, from the level of 40 to 65 in the next year'', she said.
For the $ 1-billion Taiwanese company, the alliance with Kinetic is the gateway to the second largest two-wheeler market in the world through a partner which has manufacturing facilities, the brand equity and the dealership network in place. SYM will bring into India its advanced technology platforms, the Vice-Chairman, Mr Taka Huang, said.
"We already are present in China and everybody knows nobody can ignore the Indian market which has huge potential for growth. With our technology and R&D facilities, we are correctly poised to give this market the product it wants at the right time and right price,'' he said.
Significantly, SYM is the second largest player in the Vietnamese market which was otherwise dominated by Japanese manufacturers. SYM currently has over 25 per cent of the Vietnamese market share in two wheelers.
"The company's inroads into Vietnam which is very similar to our market could give us a huge edge in the market place,'' she said.
SYM has three production bases in Taiwan, Vietnam and China and exports vehicles to North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. "The two companies are also exploring the possibility of collaboration on exports and cross selling of products,'' Ms Motwani said.
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