In what is going to be yet another remarkable development for India’s big bike segment, Italy’s premium motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta is now all set to enter the burgeoning domestic big bike market.
The 70-year-old premium brand will ride into India on the back of its association with none other than the Kinetic Group, which is famously known for its widely successful Luna mopeds and Kinetic Honda scooters.
Confirming the development to Autocar Professional, a source in the Kinetic Group said: “Yes, this is correct. The Kinetic Group is bringing the MV Agusta brand of bikes to India and the announcements will be made very soon. MV Agusta is known as the top of the top-end brands in the motorcycling world and it has the potential to find a number of buyers in India too.”
While the official announcement is expected to come in early July 2015, the source revealed that “The Kinetic Group is working to set up dealerships for the brand as step one under their association this time.” The development also hints at the possibilities of local assembly operations in the future (if sales volume justify) as the Pune-based Kinetic Group of companies has vast resources in the form of manufacturing facilities including land and machinery.
“The dealership for MV Agusta bikes will be set up under a separate business entity but within the Kinetic Group of companies. It won’t be a part of Kinetic Engineering, the flagship company of the Group,” the source added.
MV Agusta, which will become the seventh motorcycle brand to enter India after Triumph Motorcycles, Ducati, BMW Motorrad, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Benelli, is eyeing growth in the South Asian markets, and India can well provide a scalable platform to the company to set up its primary base.
Reportedly, Europe contributes close to 40 percent of MV Agusta’s global revenues, followed by USA markets. In order to fuel its growth, the Italian bike maker had entered Brazil in 2011 where, in cooperation with a local two-wheeler manufacturer named Dafra Ltd, it began assembling its bikes in the latter’s CKD facility.
While MV Agusta currently operates in Brazil via its retail chain of seven dealerships, it has, in April 2015, opened its first official branch in San Paolo. A company document reads “Brazil is playing a very important role in MV Agusta's expansion plan because it is the world's third-largest market for the sale of medium- to large-bore bikes.”
In a presentation of its new touring model named MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 in France earlier this year, the company’s president and CEO, Giovanni Castiglioni had said: “The increase in sales will be sustained by the launch of 19 models in 5 years and by our distribution network, including the opening of new MV Legal Entities.” Scaling up its operations to other parts of the globe, the company is known to have opened new legal entities in Germany, England, France and Brazil.
Last year in October, MV Agusta Motor SpA had signed a cooperation agreement with Mercedes-AMG GmbH, a 100 percent subsidiary of Daimler AG. While the long-term partnership agreement between the two companies covered the areas of marketing and sales, Mercedes-AMG GmbH also acquired a 25 percent stake in MV Agusta.
The company manufactures and sells a host of high-performance bikes such as the Brutale series (800RR, Dragster, 1090 and others), Stradale 800, F4, F3 800, Turismo Veloce 800 among others.
India’s booming big-bike market
Statistically, India’s big bike market (considering engine displacement of 500cc and above) has grown sizeably over the past three years. SIAM data indicates that the 500cc and above motorcycle segment has grown by 446 percent between FY2012-13 and FY2014-15 as the volumes have nearly quadrupled.
A number of developments such as the entry of Triumph Motorcycles, Kawasaki’s aggressive expansion of its portfolio, Harley-Davidson’s manufacturing operations of the Street 750 and addition of popular Fat Boy models to its local CKD-line up and many others have only helped multiply sales over years.
With home-grown players such as Hero MotoCorp (620cc Hastur), Bajaj Auto (via KTM models), Eicher-owned Royal Enfield (via new engine platforms) and others planning to step into this lucrative and fast growing space, the big bike segment is only poised for a robust growth in the future.