‘Entry of low-cost cars won’t affect three-wheeler sales’

April 2nd, 2009 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 2 (IANS) The economic slowdown and the launch of low-cost cars would not affect the three-wheeler market, says a top official of the city-based TVS Motor Co who expects a “quantum jump” in the company’s three-wheeler sales and exports this fiscal.
“We have started shipping out our two-stroke three-wheelers last fiscal to a couple of African countries. In two months, we will launch our four-stroke three-wheelers which would accelerate our export volumes,” H.S. Goindi, head (sales and marketing) of TVS, told IANS.

In March 2008, TVS forayed into the market with its ‘King’ three-wheelers, crossing swords with the market leader Bajaj Auto.

“During the first eight months, the company sold around 4,800 units and this number will significantly go up in 2009-10,” Goindi said.

According to him, low-cost cars like Tata Nano would not eat into the market share of three-wheelers.

“In terms of sales volume, three-wheelers sell around 100,000 units per annum. Further, other costs like ownership and operational will have to be taken into account if Nano is to cross swords with three wheelers,” Goindi said.

He said the company would launch a scooter and a motorcycle model this fiscal.

TVS sold 22,975 scooters last month, up by 7,033 units from the year-ago period.

“The newly launched TVS Streak scooter gave us good volumes. It should be noted that we are present in all the segments. Depending on the market segment, we can change our product plans,” Goindi said.

In 2008-08, TVS sold 635,940 motorcycles and 257,035 scooters as against 617,740 and 259,947 units respectively in the previous year.

The moped sales stood at 436,767 units last fiscal, compared to 411,346 in 2007-08.

Cumulatively, the company posted 3 percent sales growth at 13,29,742 units last fiscal, up from 12,89,033 units the year before.

“The year that went by was relatively okay though there was no major market share gain. In these uncertain times it’s difficult to make predictions. Everything hinges on the availability of the vehicle finance and the economy,” Goindi added.

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