Mahindra Two Wheelers plans to launch its automatic scooter range in Sri Lanka by end of 2012
Mahindra Two Wheelers, which sells a range of three automatic scooters in the Indian two wheeler market is now mulling a foray into the Sri Lankan market. Scooter exports to Sri Lanka is expected to begin by the end of 2012, when Mahindra will begin selling its automatic scooter range that comprise of three products currently. Mahindra currently builds three automatic scooters in the Indian market in the form of the Rodeo RZ125, the Duro DZ125 and the SYM Flyte. Two of the three scooters, the Rodeo and the Duro, were developed by erstwhile Kinetic Motors while the Flyte was developed by Taiwanese scooter maker SYM.
After taking over Kinetic Engineering’s two wheeler division, Mahindra has reworked on both the Rodeo as well as the Duro, with a range of changes being effected to make the products more refined with lesser rough edges and more fuel efficient. While the Sri Lankan foray will begin with a scooters-only line up, Mahindra is also planning to launch motorcycles in the island nation, after motorcycles are launched in the Indian market. Talking of which, Mahindra is planning to launch the re-engineered Stallio 110 commuter motorcycle later this year.
Also on the anvil for the Indian market in the future is the Mojo 300 sportsbike, which is currently being developed for a launch sometime in 2013. Mahindra has begun sponsoring the Sri Lankan Premier League 20-20 cricket tournament from this year. This marketing blitz is expected to give the brand good visibility in Sri Lanka, ahead of its entry into the two wheeler segment. Coming back to its automatic scooter range, Mahindra launched the reworked Duro DZ125 late last year while the updated Rodeo RZ125 is being launched in a phased manner across India.
Apart from Mahindra, Sri Lanka already has many Indian two wheeler majors already operating in the two wheeler segment. Both Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors have a considerable presence in Sri Lanka, both in the two and three wheeler segments. However, the Sri Lankan government has raised the duty on all vehicle imports into the country, earlier this year. The steep increase in duty has hit exports of both Bajaj as well as TVS. For instance, import duty on two wheelers has been raised from 61% to 100%, while the same on three wheelers has been upped from 51% to 100%. So, Mahindra too will have to live with the higher import duty in Sri Lanka and this is something that remains the single biggest challenge currently, for Indian brands operating in the emerald isle.