The four-speed ‘solid commuter’ is expected to be priced in the Rs 45,000-range and is a critical part of TVS Motor’s comeback script in motorcycles.

TVS Motor has christened its new 125cc bike, Phoenix, and is gearing up to launch it in October.

The company unveiled the product to dealers at a conference in Bangkok last week.

Commuter segment

The four-speed ‘solid commuter’ is expected to be priced in the Rs 45,000-range and is a critical part of TVS Motor’s comeback script in motorcycles.

This segment continues to account for a lion’s share of bike sales in India with Hero MotoCorp leading the fray with its Splendor and Passion brands.

Bajaj Auto has successfully positioned its Discover in this space, while Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India is betting big on the recently launched 110cc Yuga.

Since the time it launched the Victor over a decade ago, TVS Motor has not made much headway in the commuter bike segment.

Sources say a lot of hard work has gone into the Phoenix and that if everything goes according to plan, it could mark the beginning of the company’s revival story.

The commuter bike segment in India accounts for monthly sales of nearly 450,000 units with a host of rival manufacturers (to Hero MotoCorp) constantly evolving strategies to take on the Splendor and Passion’s dominance.

Bajaj Auto has hit paydirt with the Discover and is now focusing on the 125cc sporty commuter space.

On the other hand, Honda Motorcycle is competing in the same 100-110cc slot of its former ally, Hero MotoCorp, with the Dream Yuga.

New buyers

Bike makers are also aware that each year is seeing a host of new buyers entering the market.

Unlike the preceding generation, they have more disposable income and are open to trying out new brands.

These young bikers want the best in power, styling and mileage at a competitive price.

The Phoenix is, therefore, critical to TVS Motor and indications are that it will be followed by another sibling in the commuter space.

murali.gopalan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 20, 2012)
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