Chennai: TVS Motor Company (TVSM), the Chennai based firm, today launched its first first two-stroke 200cc auto rickshaw, TVS King, marking the company's entry into the three-wheeler segment. The auto rickshaws will be available in LPG and petrol versions.
The King, which has an electric start, is priced in the range of Rs90,000 to Rs1.30 lakh (ex-showroom), the company reported
The King will be manufactured at the TVSM Hosur factory, which has an installed capacity of one-lakh units per year. The company plans to introduce a diesel version by December.
TVSM says the autorickshaw is powered by a 200cc, low friction 7-port engine, which is fuel-efficient and would run about 30 km per litre.
Other standard features of the King include, a water bottle compartment, a magazine shelf, mobile charger, FM radio, floor mats, large tail lamps and a rear bumper, the company reported.
M K Stalin, minister for rural development and local administration in Tamil Nadu, launched the vehicle in the presence of the state transport minister, K N Nehru and TVS chairman and managing director Venu Srinivasan.
''Styled on the lines of a car, TVS King will redefine all performance characteristics like initial pickup and power, comfort and convenience, fuel efficiency and safety,'' Venu Srinivasan said.
He stated that the three-wheeler business would add Rs400 crore to the top line of the company in 18 months. TVSM has invested about Rs 120 crore in the project and the target sales volume is expected to be 30,000 units for 2008-09, which will include a four-stroke CNG version (to be launched in July) for places such as Delhi, Venu Srinivasan added.
He said, that the company would acquire around 30 per cent of the market share of three-wheelers in India in 18 months. After Chennai, the company would launch the King in the southern region of India before making it available to other parts of the country by December this year, Srinivasan noted.
TVSM would be make use of its existing distribution and service network in the country, besides exporting the King to more than 20 countries, he added
The company has also tied up with insurance companies such as United India Insurance, New India Assurance and National Assurance Company to provide free medical cover of up to Rs30,000 per annum on a floater basis for TVS King drivers and their families.
The owner of the vehicle will additionally be covered by a personal accident policy for Rs.1 lakh.
TVS Motor will pay the first premium for the Rs.1 lakh cover and the beneficiaries will pay subsequent premiums of Rs240 per annum.
The company also introduced a training programme for drivers in safety and preventive maintenance, Srinivasan said.
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