Since its launch in 2014, the Polaris-owned Indian Motorcycle brand has exclusively sold its motorcycles in India through the CBU network. That won’t change for 2021, but Lalit Sharma, Country Manager, Polaris India, tells us to expect big things for the motorcycle brand in around two years' time.
Polaris evaluating bigger plans for India in two years
Likely to be based around an upcoming affordable motorcycle
Could make India a hub for Asian markets
Polaris and its expansion in India
Sharma wouldn’t go into any more detail and said that it was far too early to commit to anything further, but there were some interesting points that were discussed. For starters, Polaris won’t be expanding its current nation-wide network of 8 dealers in 2021, because the company believes that this is sufficient for the super-premium motorcycles it currently retails. In fact, Polaris hasn’t made the investment into CKD operations so far because the gains wouldn’t be justifiable on what are already very expensive motorcycles.
While the BS6 range of Indian Motorcycles is soon to be launched, Polaris has thus far retailed almost the entire Indian Motorcycle line-up in our market. This starts with the Scout Sixty which was priced at Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom) while the most expensive model was the Roadmaster Elite which was priced at Rs 48 lakh (ex-showroom).
Small bikes for big investments
Clearly, Polaris isn’t going to put the big bucks into India until there’s an affordable motorcycle (or range of motorcycles) to justify it. Sharma’s cryptic comments leave us to speculate that such a motorcycle may just be under development and could be ready in a couple of years. And why not - nearly every major international manufacturer is developing or already has its own range of affordable, small displacement motorcycles. Whether this affordable bike from Polaris will be locally assembled in India, fully manufactured, or even manufactured with a local partner is completely unclear at the moment.
Presently, Polaris only manufactures motorcycles in America and it will soon start to do so in Poland to meet the growing demand in Europe. Could India be the home of a third motorcycle plant for Polaris to address demand in Asian markets? Time will tell.