UM Lohia sees India as export hub for big bikes

Our Bureau Chennai September 18 | Updated on January 10, 2018

Cruising Jose Villegas, Director, UM India Two Wheelers, and Ayush Lohia, Director, UM Lohia Two Wheelers, at the launch of the Renegade Commando Mojave and Renegade Commando Classic in Chennai on Monday   -  Bijoy Ghosh

India to be and export hub for bigger cc bikes

UM Lohia Two Wheelers, a joint venture between US-based UM Motorcycles and Indian electric two-wheeler company Lohia Auto Industries, is planning an aggressive expansion in India and overseas.

It will make India an export hub for large bikes and ship India-built vehicles to Europe from next year. It sees favourable growth outlook for 300cc bikes in Europe. It has been exporting bikes made at Kashipur (Uttarakhand) plant (of Lohia Auto) to Nepal and Bhutan.

“We are developing bikes with ABS system, which is a requirement for the European market. The process is in final stages of validation and we will start exporting bikes to Europe from next year,” said Jose Villegas, Director, UM India Two Wheelers.

In the domestic market, it is looking to set up a new factory in the next 18 months and achieve close to 100 per cent localisation from the current 60-70 per cent. The company, which has just introduced two sub-300cc bikes — Renegade Commando Classic and Renegade Commando Mojave at ₹1.94 lakh and ₹ 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Chennai) respectively — expects to grow its annual volumes to 50,000-60,000 units by 2018-19 from 10,000 plus now.

“Presently, we have 57 dealers across the country and we hope to increase the number to 72 around Diwali,” said Ayush Lohia, Director, UM Lohia Two Wheelers, on the sidelines of the launch of the new bikes here.

The company expects its new bikes, particularly the Classic model, to fetch higher volumes as it bets on the cruiser category of mid-size super bike market.

“No other company is offering touring-ready cruisers with such features and equipment at this price like our Classic model. We started bookings a week ago and the response has been four times than we anticipated,” said Villegas, but declined to provide the numbers.

The company is simultaneously developing higher cc engines and platforms for India and other markets. Given that the growth in 300-350cc market is in India, the company expects all of these customers to mature to the next level and look at buying 700cc plus bikes in the next five years.

Published on September 18, 2017

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