Building on its enormous domestic production base of 16 million bikes and scooters, India is now well poised to become a global manufacturing hub for compact superbikes with 250 cc capacity. This is evident from the strategic investments being planned by leading domestic and global players in this regard.
British bike manufacturer Triumph has set up a greenfield operation in Bangalore, which it plans to leverage to build the next global platform for its 250 cc bike Daytona. American firm Harley Davidson is also planning to build models in India for export to Europe and South East Asia. Meanwhile Indian players are also expanding their local manufacturing capabilities to roll out high end bikes. Hero MotoCorp is set to launch a new 250 cc bike model at the upcoming Auto Expo, which it has developed in collaboration with its American subsidiary Erika Buell Racing. TVS Motors is also developing a 250 cc platform for BMW. Bajaj has already emerged as a strong player in this segment and launched a slew of models in collaboration with Austrian subsidiary KTM. Besides India’s proven engineering capabilities in the automotive sector, these companies are also attracted to the growing potential for high end bikes in the Indian market. According to automotive research and advisory firm Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors, sales of big bikes (>250 cc) in India are expected to increase by 50 per cent year-on-year in 2013 to reach 167,000 units and further grow to 708,000 units in 2022, making India a critical destination for global leaders in the superbike segment.