Ashish Joshi, the managing director of Triumph India made quite a start at the launch event. Seven motorcycles were lined up. There was no song and dance. Just some music following which the bikes were unveiled. No big corporate speak after the ceremony either. Joshi got straight to the point. The British motorcycle icon is now in India. And these are the bikes. All of which will go on sale in India in the next four months. Starting at a price of Rs. 550, 000 (ex-showroom Delhi) for the modern classic, Bonneville. He moved around pointing at each motorcycle and declaring its price. It was all very simple and absolutely upfront.
The crowd was suitably impressed. There was a big guy among the crowd who told Joshi that he would be the first customer. He passed him his visiting card. It was made of steel. Joshi looked a little taken aback. Anyway, coming back to the motorcycles, the most expensive motorcycle from the Triumph stable will be the Rocket III Roadster priced at about Rs. 1,750,000. It has got a 2294 cc engine whose power has been restricted to 148 PS.
Joshi made an interesting point about the premium motorcycle market in India. There is no real data on the demand, he said. The only manufacturer is Harley Davidson. While there are other Japanese guys like Honda and Suzuki, they are not that serious about this segment. “In the absence of this data, it is very difficult to quantify how many bikes somebody can or cannot sell. I would not go by market research to put figures on that,” says Joshi.
He said that Harley Davidson’s entry into India and their experience has a lot of lessons for Triumph. Triumph has been looking at the India opportunity for about four years now. “Ambition in India is to get into India to establish Triumph’s network, establish its brand name and then go on from there,” said Joshi. The company is pretty serious about India. Take for instance its attempt in the spares department. Now Triumph has a spares warehouse only in the UK from where spares are shipped to the rest of the world by UPS or DHL. Joshi knows that won’t work in India. So Triumph is setting up a dedicated spares network in India.