TVS Suzuki prices Victor at Rs. 41,200

CHENNAI, AUG. 30. TVS Suzuki has priced Victor, the 110cc four- stroke motorcycle, at Rs. 41,187 ex-showroom Chennai. The bike will carry a two-year warranty.

Expected to push the two-wheeler market into what the company claims `smile age', Victor, the culmination of the research and development initiative of TVS, is formally launched here today. By mid-October, the bike will be available nationally.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Venu Srinivasan, managing director of the company, hoped that Victor would make the company's presence felt in the Rs. 36,000-46,000 price category segment which comprised about 68 per cent of the motorcycle market in India. The company hopes to produce 70,000 Victor motorcycles during the current financial year. And, it is proposing to turn out two lakh units in the next financial year. The Victor project has seen the company invest close to Rs. 70 crores. Since the company laid much store by lean manufacturing technique involving the use of simple and better designed machines, the cost of production per bike had been much less in this specific instance, Mr. Srinivasan said. Admitting that the company's market share had slipped to around 13-14 per cent, he hoped that the Victor launch would help it perk up the share to 20 per cent soon.

Mr. C. P. Raman, President of the company, indicated that TVS Suzuki would ``come out with variants of Victor in the coming months.'' ``You have to constantly beat the market by offering variants,'' pointed out Mr. Srinvasan. In his view, variants would add fringe customers to the products.

On the performance of the company thus far in the current quarter, Mr. Raman said though the mopeds had seen a downtrend in the wake of weakening of markets in the South, the trend was reversing. In the scooter segment, the growth had been quite okay, he felt. The president said the company had lost 4-5 per cent share in the motorcycle segment. He was confident that the company would regain the lost ground now that Victor had been launched.