Garware might exit Hyosung stake; DS Kulkarni(DSK) group might be new JV partner
South Korean motorcycle maker Hyosung’s second coming to the Indian high end sportsbike market seems to have taken a new turn with a report emerging about Indian promoter and sun film maker, Garware, in talks to exit its stake from the Garware-Hyosung joint venture, set up just a year ago to assemble and sell high end sportsbikes in the country. According to initial reports, Garware could sell the stake it holds in Hyosung to real estate major, the DS Kulkarni(DSK) group. Like Garware, the DSK group has also been associated with the auto industry in the capacity of the group being one of the largest Toyota dealers in Maharashtra.
However, we’re yet to receive information from Garware-Hyosung about the possible stake sale and exit from the JV. So, until then, take this story with a pinch of salt. Currently, the Garware-Hyosung alliance sells three motorcycles in the country, with over 15 dealerships across India. The GT650R, the GT650N and the ST7 Cruiser are the three motorcycles that are being sold in the country. There is a new launch slated in the next week, when the 250cc sportsbike, the GT250R, will be launched. This motorcycle is expected to challenge the likes of the Honda CBR250R and the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, by being positioned between these two products.
Currently, Garware-Hyosung operate a factory at Wai, Maharashtra, where motorcycles are assembled from completely knocked down(CKD) kits. Garware-Hyosung has had plans of assembling the engines and transmissions as this would allow the brand to price its motorcycles more competitively as the excise duty would be reduced from 30% to 10% if engines and transmissions are assembled locally instead of being brought in through the CBU route. Going forward, the brand has had plans of launching a slew of motorcycles including two more cruisers this year.
It remains unclear as to whether all these launches will go on as planned, in the coming months, if the stake sale does happen and DSK comes on board as the new joint venture partner to Hyosung. In the past, Kinetic Engineering Limited had tied up with Hyosung to bring two motorcycles into India, the Aquila 250cc cruiser and the Comet 250 sports motorcycle. Both motorcycles were well accepted in the Indian market with demand exceeding supply. However, Kinetic becoming defunct resulted in the motorcycles suffering from a lack of sales and service support.