TVS vrooms ahead on a higher growth path

TVS vrooms ahead on a higher growth path

TVS Motor Company, the flagship company of the $7 billion TVS Group, has been growing steadily, even ahead of the industry, keeping customer satisfaction and delight in mind.

With its recent foray into the 125 cc scooter segment through the NTORQ 125, the company hopes to increase its share in India's booming scooter segment, which is accelerating at even greater pace currently.

Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director of TVS Motor Company, says that the company has always placed utmost importance on developing products that are aspirational for customers.

It is memorable to note that TVS has enthralled the Indian market with many class-leading products for many years. While the mopeds TVS 50 and TVS Champ contributed purpose to humble daily commuter needs, the youthful Scooty gave freedom of mobility to youngsters and women, and it was this product that heralded TVS' push in the scooter space.

"We are very strong in scooters. We first came up with the Scooty and then the Wego. The scooter segment is growing faster than the industry, thanks to convenience that the zippy two-wheeler provides. We found that scooters will grow, and its segment forms one-third of the two-wheeler industry. Within the scooter segment, you will find segmentation happening," says K N Radhakrishnan, President and CEO of TVS Motor Company.

Radhakrishnan reiterates that while some customers like to have a general purpose vehicle like the Jupiter, certain customers prefer the Wego and others may like the Scooty.

It must be noted that the Wego and the Jupiter have carved their own niches in the scooter segment.

Pushing the limits

The NTORQ 125 has taken shape as a result of successful learnings in the scooter space, having served different types of customers with varied tastes.

"Many young customers like to have a scooter which is very convenient and performance-oriented. Gen Z looks for cool-looking, something outstanding and one with a lot of features. This was the thinking behind conceptualising our recent product NTORQ," Radhakrishnan tells DH.

The NTORQ, which was displayed at the Auto Expo 2018, is also the first connected (Bluetooth) scooter with TVS SmartXonnect, and is also the country's first app-enabled scooter.

The company believes that the opportunity size is about 10% of the market, and it is targeting to sell 2 lakh units in a year.

TVS has always stood for innovative, easy-to-handle, and environment-friendly products. The company has an annual production capacity of 3.2 million two-wheelers and 1.2 lakh three-wheelers, and has four manufacturing plants, three located in India (Hosur in Tamil Nadu, Mysuru in Karnataka and Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh), and one in Indonesia at Karawang.

From mopeds (XL 100, XL 100 Comfort and XL 100 Heavy Duty), to scooters (Jupiter, Wego, Scooty and NTORQ 125), and motorcycles (Apache Series RTR, Victor, StaR City+, Sport and Max4R), the company offers various products catering to different segments today.

The third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, TVS Motor Company registered a sales growth of 31%, increasing from 2,07,059 units in January 2017, to 2,71,801 units in January 2018.

Scooterisation in India gives the company huge opportunities to grow and delight customers. It targets to grow faster than the industry - at present the company is growing at 17%, and with the NTORQ 125, it hopes to grow much faster.

2nd largest 2-wheeler exporter

Rooted in a rich legacy going back a century, the company takes pride in making internationally aspirational products through innovative and sustainable processes. TVS is the second largest two-wheeler export manufacturer from India, and one among the top ten in the world exporting to more than 60 countries.

The company's total exports grew by 25.5% from 34,110 units registered in January 2017, to 42,802 units in January 2018. Two-wheeler exports grew by 19.6% increasing from 30,108 units in January 2017, to 36,003 units in January 2018. TVS Motor Company reported a 16.3% rise in net profit to Rs 154.35 crore, compared to a year ago, for the third quarter ended December 31, 2017.

Motorcycle sales grew by 26.7% to 3.14 lakh units in the quarter ended December 2017, from 2.48 lakh units registered in the third quarter of 2016-17. Scooter sales increased to 2.69 lakh units in the third quarter of 2017-18, from 2.21 lakh units in the third quarter of 2016-17, registering a growth of 21.6%.

According to its 25th Annual Report 2016-17, the company continued to grow ahead of the industry for the third year in succession, registering sales of 28.58 lakh two-wheelers in 2016-17, growing by 11% over the previous year. Sales of motorcycles increased by 6%, and scooters by 7%.

So what's the strategy to counter strong competitors, like Honda and Hero? The CEO says, "We respect them (competitors) and if you keep to your strategy and keep understanding your customers, and always coming up with new, innovative products for the market, it is the most important learning," he says.

The company's strength is Research and Development (R&D), and it is investing heavily in electric and hybrid models. "We are planning to come up with electric and hybrid models in the next fiscal. We want to keep investing in technology and delight our customers further," he says, adding that there should be a passion for change when it comes to electric two-wheelers.

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