TVS, the maker of performance bike Apache and the family scooter Jupiter, clocks an average of 70,000 moped units every month in the domestic market. Besides using them as a form of cost-effective form of transport, the mopeds are also widely used for their utility purpose.
One of India’s popular two-wheelers, the moped, will get upgraded to meet the Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission standards with TVS Motor Company, dismissing fears of a slow death for the cheapest workhorse.
The Chennai-headquartered company, which is the only company to make mopeds in India, confirmed that its moped range of XL100 will continue to sell at the bottom of the pyramid in BS-VI form. The BS-VI emission norms are due to be enforced from April 1, 2020.
“Mopeds will continue to meet regulations. We moved mopeds from 2-stroke to 4-stroke, while we had the electric-start moped as well. And we have unique attractive qualities which can cater to the bottom of the pyramid and it will completely continue for BS VI”, said K N Radhakrishnan, president, CEO and whole time director, TVS Motor Company.
The gear-less moped is priced at Rs 30,000 for the base variant while the top-end variant is priced at Rs 38,500 (both prices ex-showroom). Only the Bajaj CT100 comes close to the moped with prices starting at Rs 32,000.
BS-VI has brought an end to several two and four-wheeler brands including Tata Nano, Honda Brio, Hyundai Eon, Honda Cliq and Honda Navi to name a few. It was widely expected that TVS will also bring down curtains on its moped range too.
TVS, the maker of performance bike Apache and the family scooter Jupiter, clocks an average of 70,000 moped units every month in the domestic market. Besides using them as a form of cost-effective form of transport, the mopeds are also widely used for being utilitarian.
In many markets, especially in the south of the country, mopeds are used for carrying heavy loads such as newspapers, gunny sacks, groceries, fruits and vegetables. Their diminutive size packs a 100cc frugal engine that generates a mileage of around 60 kilometers to a litre of petrol.
According to TVS, its moped sales increased to 9 lakh units, up from 8.8 lakh units last financial year. This despite the hike in insurance cost of 6-11 percent that severely slowed down retail demand for two-wheelers. Mopeds made up nearly a fourth of TVS’s total sales last year.
“This product (moped) has got very clear attractive qualities for the bottom of the pyramid. We understand that the electric start is most convenient for this type of customers. And today, 90 percent of this category is electric start”, added Radhakrishnan.
Market watchers are expecting a double digit increase in prices after BS-VI is enforced. This will put further pressure on retail demand. However TVS is working on reducing the price impact on moped buyers.“We have a strict patent technology. Definitely we are working and we are confident that it will work on moped as well. We closely study what is the cost increase, what is the price increase in this category and we will come up with our strategy on how to support this type of customers, because customers are there. And we are confident that we should be able to get all of it”, added Radhakrishnan.