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Updated: November 25, 2009 21:44 IST

TVS Motor unveils automatic bike

Special Correspondent
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Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motors
The Hindu Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motors

Venu Srinivasan-driven TVS Motor Company on Wednesday announced its foray into the 110 cc segment by unveiling two brand new products — an auto-clutch motorcycle and an automatic scooter.

The two products were the outcome of a deep research into meticulously collected customer feedback. The vehicles were designed to provide a stress-free and also a joyous riding experience for customers, Mr. Srinivasan said.

TVS Jive, the 110 cc motorcycle, will be available at Rs. 41,000 across the country. TVS WEGO, the 110 cc scooter, is priced at Rs. 42,500.

The company had relied on the T-Matic technology while designing TVS Jive. This featured a rotary gear technology along with an automatic clutch. Mr. Srinivasan told presspersons here that the company had moved an application with the appropriate authority for getting the technology patented.

Production of TVS Jive had already commenced at the company’s Hosur facility. The market launch would happen next month. The gearbox for Jive would come from Indonesia.

The engine was designed indigenously, Mr. Srinivasan said. He expected WEGO to be launched in January after the Auto Expo. Mass production of WEGO would begin soon thereafter. The scooter was designed to be a multi-user vehicle across different age categories and gender, he said.

“We want to get a deeper customer insight and build joy into every aspect. We want to bring the stability of a motorcycle to a scooter,” Mr. Srinivasan said to a query on the WEGO. The development cost of Jive was around Rs. 25 crore and that of WEGO Rs. 50 crore.

“The break-even sales won’t be high,” he said. Much of the facilities for production of these two products were same and major investment had gone mainly into tooling, he added.

TVS Motor would launch two more models next year. It could be more in the nature of upgrades, he said.

Earlier Mr. Srinivasan said the launch of Jive and WEGO would make TVS Motor a complete player in the motorcycle and scooter segments. To a query, he said, ``market will not allow us to stay still and just consolidate.”

The executive bike segment, Mr. Srinivasan said, was in the vicinity of three lakh vehicles. TVS Motor would aim for a 10 per cent share of this pie. He was confident that the company could sell 20,000-25,000 Jive vehicles.

Though the company was selling a small volume Flame bikes, he said, “TVS is otherwise absent in this segment.” The Flame was selling 4,000 units a month. Mr. Srinivasan was confident that this number would go up to 10,000 units.

On the company’s project in Indonesia, he said, “the going there is little slower that what we have expected.” Besides a tough market, there were issues vis-a-vis tie up with a local finance company. At present , TVS Motor is selling three products in the Indonesian market.

On the three-wheeler sales, he said the company was hoping to end the current fiscal with sales of 20,000 autos.

Mr. Srinivasan was hoping that this number would double next year. The company had already been exporting three-wheelers to five countries.

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