Chennai, Dec 19
TVS Motor Co today launched Apache, a 150 cc motorcycle, which in the words of its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Venu Srinivasan, is "the spirit of the youth and the new spirit of TVS."
Priced at Rs 52,490 ex-showroom Chennai, the company believes that the Apache will set benchmarks in the growing premium segment of the motorcycle market with respect to acceleration, performance, style, and ride handling.
The national roll-out of the motorcycle, the second product from the company in this segment, will be completed by January-end or early February 2006. In four months of its launch, the company expects sales to be in the region of 20,000-25,000 a month.
Company officials told presspersons that the motorcycle had been designed and engineered with youngsters in the 18-25 age group looking to buy a motorcycle in mind.
Apache has a 5-speed gear and its engine is powered by 13.5 brake hp.
The intake and exhaust surge technology allows for fast pick-up and responsive acceleration while the inductive digital ignition enables consistent fuel economy and good engine response, according to the company.
The Apache will have black alloy wheels.
Mr Srinivasan said that the Apache would roll out of the company's Mysore plant, where capacity would be increased from 15,000 units a month at launch to meet sales of 20,000-25,000 units a month within four months of launch.
To a question, Mr Srinivasan and Mr Prasad Narasimhan, Vice-President (Marketing), said that the company would continue to produce the Fiero, TVS Motor's other product in the 150 cc segment.
The company sells about 2,000 units of the Fiero a month and would continue to manufacture the product, as there are some pockets of demand, Mr Narasimhan said.
The company has invested about Rs 15 crore on tooling unique to the Apache, while all other facilities were shared. Research and development work on the Apache took almost a year.
Dhoni is latest brand ambassador
MAHENDRA Singh Dhoni, India's wicketkeeper-batsman, will be TVS Motor's latest brand ambassador, company officials told newspersons today.
The company had earlier roped in Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador.
Company officials had then said that Sachin would ultimately become the brand ambassador for the company itself, rather than be restricted to just one product.
Today, Mr Prasad Narasimhan, Vice-President (Marketing), said that Dhoni was not replacing Sachin as the company's brand ambassador.
Apart from stating that Dhoni need not necessarily be the brand ambassador for the Apache, he did not provide further details. The contract with Dhoni was for one year and could be extended.