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BMW to make India global hub for small bikes

Times of India:  October 18, 2016

New Delhi: BMW has decided to make India a hub for the company's smallest bike — the G310R, the 313cc motorcycle, which will be manufactured in partnership with the TVS Group, and will be exported to the company's home market Germany as well as countries across Europe and in the US.

The G310R is one of the most ambitious bets taken by the German auto major that sells motorcycles under the 'Motorrad' brand. This is perhaps the first time that the company will have a bike under 500cc, and the decision to sell the brand across major global markets displays plans of positioning it as a large-selling volume product.

"We have big expectations from the G310R, and there have been a lot of things that are happening behind the scenes," Frank Schloeder, president, BMW India, told TOI here. The company is working on retail and distribution plans for the bike that may hit the market early next year, at a price that may range between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh.

The motorcycle will be manufactured at TVS Motor's Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu and the Indian partner also plans to roll out a local version , which had been showcased as the 'Akula 310' at the Greater Noida Auto Expo.

"While India is a big market in itself, we have plans to positon the G310R as a global product," Schloeder said. "The India-made bike will be sold in Germany, the US and many countries in Europe."

The company is planning Motorrad dealerships across key metros and some of the bigger cities.

Engineered and designed by BMW Motorrad at Munich, the one-cylinder low-weight G310R embodies the pure essence of a BMW roadster that has been designed not only for tricky, narrow city lanes but also for long-distance rides. TVS offers the knowledge of frugal engineering and value-efficient component sourcing, strengths to keep the product manufacturing cost competitive.

The G310R is mated to a six-speed gearbox and the engine delivers a maximum power of 34 horsepower at 9,500 rpm and a peak torque of 28 Nm at 7,500 rpm. The top-speed is estimated at 144 kmph and the bike will have a high-performance brake system while sporting ABS as a standard fitment.

The G310R's multi-functional instrument cluster has a large liquid crystal display to offer excellent clarity and a wide range of information. BMW also has plans to offer individually-tailored optional accessories for those who want add-ons and frills.

Growth In Car Sales: Frank Schloeder, BMW India president, said car sales have started looking up after around three years of decline and the company expects growth this year. "We had been re-aligning business for the last two years, and we are witnessing growth now." The company had sold 6,890 units in 2015, and is believed to have sold around 4,000 units in January-June perod this year.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.