DSK-Hyosung eyes the high volume 125cc-150cc motorcycle market in India
Months ago, Pune based DS Kulkarni group joined hands with South Korean motorycle major Hyosung, by buying out Garware’s stake in the joint venture for an undisclosed sum of money. DSK-Hyosung, it seems have big plans for the Indian motorcycle market in the coming years. Even as it is scoutin for land to set up assembly operations in India, DSK-Hyosung plans to embark on an aggressive localization strategy, especially for the GT250R sportsbike, to bring its price down to levels that will pit it directly against the Honda CBR250R, which is currently the best selling 250cc motorcycle in the country.
However, localization isn’t all. DSK-Hyosung plans to establish a research and development center in India, to develop a small capacity motorcycle with an engine capacity between 125cc to 150cc. This small capacity motorcycle will be targeted at high volumes for the Indo-Korea joint venture. Other details though, remain unknown at this point of time. In India, more and more two wheeler makers are moving from the entry level 100-110cc commuter segment to the 125cc and 150cc segments, even as motorcycle buyers are upgrading to products with better performance and features.
That said, DSK-Hyosung will have some very formidable competition in the form of global two wheeler behemoths like Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj auto and Honda, which currently dominate the motorcycle market in India. Hyosung is no stranger to the 125cc and 150cc motorcycle space in India. When the South Korean motorcycle maker had tied up with erstwhile Kinetic Engineering Limited, it launched two technology packed motorcycles in India, both of which bombed miserably at the hustings. The Kinetic GF125 was India’s first four valve motorcycle and produced class leading power and torque.
However, the motorcycle never managed to find favour with buyers. After the GF125, Kinetic launched the GF170, which was a bigger engined motorcycle along with grown up styling like a half fairing. While it packed in plenty of power and torque along with a four valve, single cylinder four stroke engine, even this motorcycle never really took off. Soon after, Kinetic Engineering Limited exited the two wheeler business. As the old adage goes, what goes around comes around, and Hyosung finds itself back on square one, mulling another shot at the 125cc to 150cc motorcycle segment of the Indian market.