Mumbai: LML has announced the launch of its latest four-stroke motorcycle LML Freedom, positioned in the deluxe commuter segment.
Priced at around Rs 40,050 (ex-showroom, Lucknow, inclusive of sales tax), Freedom promises to bring to the market 'a very refreshing change' in the largest-selling deluxe commuter motorcycle segment, which is currently dominated by Splendor, Passion and Victor.
Freedom will be initially released in select markets of Uttar Pradesh in July 2002 and will be available across India between August and September 2002.
In keeping with LML's tradition of understanding customer needs and desires, Freedom has been engineered and adapted in a manner that would qualify to make it the 'perfect commuter bike' for the mass market. Freedom conforms to international standards of engineering and contemporary design.
Its modernity and functionality are well harmonised and integrated to Indian needs. The vehicle, powered by the Alofric (all-aluminium, low-friction and internal oil-transfer system) engine technology, delivers excellent fuel consumption of 85 kmpl (under-standard conditions). It has an extremely responsive pick-up, unmatched stability and road grip, apart from perfect braking efficiency.
Termed as a 'global bike,' the construct and styling of Freedom is very robust, durable and modern. It uses a halogen headlight to give excellent light intensity and the entire sunbeam lighting system of Freedom uses multi-reflector technology.
Freedom is backed by a two-year, 30,000-km warranty, which is supported by the company's extensive all-India dealer and service network. Freedom's product benefits, which are substantially superior to that of any other motorcycle in the deluxe commuter segment coupled with its aggressive pricing, are set to cause a paradigm shift in the deluxe motorcycle commuter segment.
A far superior product at an aggressive price, Freedom will certainly reposition competition. With the launch of Freedom, LML's total product coverage in the two-wheeler market will go up to approximately 56 per cent from the current level of 16 per cent.
This increase will enable the company to increase its volumes, and consequently to make a turnaround in the current financial year. During the year, the company expects to maintain its current market share in scooters and produce around 100,000 scooters and about 150,000 motorcycles.
LML made its foray into the motorcycle market in technical collaboration with Daelim of Korea and entered through the niche segment. Its Adreno FX and Energy FX in this segment has a market share of around 20 per cent. Soon after the entry, the company undertook a major exercise in realigning its production capacity, rejigged its plant and made substantial investment in its facilities at Kanpur.
The overall manufacturing capacity of the plant will be further stepped up during 2003-04 and the company proposes to introduce motorcycles for other segments as well as the four-stroke gearless scooters, thus increasing its product coverage to around 89 per cent.
This extensive coverage of the two-wheeler market will help make up for the losses suffered owing to the steep decline in the geared scooter segment and the company's delayed entry into the mass motorcycle market.
The motorcycle market in India is divided into three main categories. The first is the top-end niche segment, where Adreno FX and Energy FX mark the company's presence. This niche segment constitutes 7 per cent of the total motorcycle market.
The deluxe commuter segment, which constitutes 53 per cent, is the most important segment, and this is where the company has positioned LML Freedom. The basic commuter segment is the entry-level motorcycles, which is 40 per cent of the total motorcycle market and the company proposes to enter this segment in 2003.
The company views exports as a major thrust area. It expects to break new ground with the addition of motorcycles in its products range and it aims to have by 2005 around 10 per cent of its business from exports.
The initial response of overseas buyers to the motorcycles has been extremely encouraging and in fact the company has received expressions of interest for the assembly of motorcycles from a number of countries. It is currently in discussions for setting up assembly facilities in two countries.
Progressively, with the introduction of other products, it will increase its product offerings in the export market and thereby achieve its business target. LML entered the scooter market in 1982 and added style, power and performance to an otherwise lacklustre industry.
The revolution in market dynamics catalysed by LML created a new breed of two-wheeler buyers, who considered a scooter to be an extension of their personality rather than merely a basic means of motorised transport. The company changed attitudes way back then and is poised to do it once again with the introduction of Freedom.