Managing director and chief executive officer Siddhartha Lal says the car has been created keeping in mind the independent businessmen.
Eicher Motors launched its first personal utility vehicle Multix, thereby creating a new category in the auto segment.
Managing director and chief executive officer Siddhartha Lal says the car has been created keeping in mind the independent businessmen. Lal says the company will produce about 5000 per month, ie 60,000 per year, in the first phase of production.
Below is the edited transcript of the interview.
Q: Tell us more about your new launch?
A: We are entering a market of personal utility vehicles for the independent businessmen and what we found is that there are around 60 million households where there are independent businessmen and that is where this vehicle comes in handy. It is a personal utility vehicle for these people.
Q: This is a 50:50 joint venture with Polaris. How long did it take for you to design this vehicle and what is the investment that has gone into it?
A: The idea of this vehicle started in 2010 in a meeting with Polaris and we worked in it for two years in the background to understand the segment and market really well. So, once we were sure that there is space which wasn't being addressed with the independent businessmen that is when we started out joint venture in 2012. We have launched the vehicle now in 2015 and over these three years we have spent around Rs 350 crore in the entire company. That means from design, development, manufacturing, tooling, distribution all of that put together till date it has been Rs 350 crore.
Q: Where are you going to be manufacturing this vehicle and what is your capacity currently?
A: We are actually going to be manufacturing this vehicle right across this hotel here, that is Kukas near Jaipur in Rajasthan. The capacity currently is going to be 5,000 per month which takes us to 60,000 per year. So, that is the phase one capacity and in the same plant we have an ability to expand to double of this. So, we could go up to 10,000 per month.
Q: This is the first offering of this joint venture. What are the potential other segments that it could claim, is anything going to be coming out of the next year or a year and half in the short term?
A: The Eicher-Polaris joint venture is extremely focused on this Multix product. That is what we are really now diving deep into. So, right now we are not looking into new products. So, of course through continuous improvements or adaptations or versions of this we are going to have that, in order to get slightly different markets but really it is the Multix product and because it is a totally new segment, it is a personal utility segment which has not really been addressed till now it forces us to dive very deep to create a segment. Creating a segment doesn't happen overnight, it is going to take us months and years and that is what we are committed to doing.Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.