The next big ticket entrant in the Indian two-wheeler market, American company UM Motorcycles and India’s Lohia Auto Industries are on schedule to set up shop in India and introduce their range of new motorcycles on our shores. We recently caught up with UML Head of Sales Joji John, who confirmed the firms first launches will be a 400cc, single-cylinder engine powered motorcycle, a Cruiser or Scrambler, perhaps even both. Pricing will be aggressive, in the ballpark region of Rs 1.50 lakh (on-road). The 400cc engines for the India bikes are being specifically engineered and tuned to suit Indian conditions.
A glance at UM’s International website reveals the manufacturer already sells numerous competent bikes abroad, but UML does not intend to explore the CKD or CBU routes in India, instead adopting a long term approach with commitment to the Indian market, manufacturing bikes at their Kashipur unit in Uttarakhand, with a targeted installed annual capacity of 100,000 units.
UML hopes to launch in time to catch the Indian festive season, around Sept 2015, with a new bike to subsequently enter our market every 6 months. They hope to bring a second round of models to India around the Indian Auto Expo, 2016, also priced in the 1.20-1.50 lakh (on-road) range.
UML shall have a corporate head office in Delhi, with regional offices to be set up in the second half of 2015, tentatively in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru or Chennai, with close to 30 sales and service points to be set up across India by Aug 2015.