Chennai: BSA Motors, a strategic business unit of Tube Investments of India (TII), part of the Rs9,582-crore Murugappa Group, today launched five models of eScooters today in the Chennai.
The eScooters are manufactured at the BSA Motors new plant in Ambattur, with an investment of Rs200 million in the first phase. The Ambattur plant has an initial production capacity of 150 eScooters a day which can be ramped upto 300 units per day as and when required.
The first batch of eScooters were rolled out from the plant yesterday.
Each eScooter has four colour options with the exception of Diva, has five colour options. The unique features of these eScooter models are its protective safety switch, twin passenger foot rest, ergonomically designed seats, great storage space, side reflectors and many more innovative features that are not currently available in the market.
These eScooters will be marketed under the BSA brand.
BSA Motors has named upcoming south Indian movies actress Tamannah, who has acted in trendsetting films like 'Happy Days' in Telugu and 'Kalloori' in Tamil, as the brand ambassador to promote its eScooters, aimed at the pre-30 customers.
Out of the five models, three models are in 250 watts, one in 500 watts and one in 800 watts.
The three 250 W products that have a top speed of 25 km require no licence and are aimed at teenagers. They are:
- Smile: The most competitively priced e-Scooter in the country for the age group of 13 to 18 years
- Diva: Designed exclusively for girls in the age group of 16 to 20 years
- Street Rider: a unisex "sportz" model for those in the teens to their 20s
The other two that require license and registration are the more powerful:
- Roamer: Aimed working men and women in the age group of 18 to 25 years. The eScooter has 500 W, and a top speed of 40kmph
- The Roamer+ is billed as a family eScooter ad has 800W with a top speed of 45kmph
M M Murugappan, chairman, Tube Investments of India said, "We see our entry into the electric two wheeler market as a logical extension of our current business, from bicycles to electric two wheelers. The eScooters is presently a Rs450-crore market in India and the industry is expected to double in a year's time. BSA's foray into the eScooters category helps us to expand our portfolio in the two wheeler market. He also added, "BSA eScooters will undoubtedly be the next big success from TII."
The Ambattur plant will have facility for painting, assembly and testing of eScooters. Key parts like motor, controller, battery, lamps, wheel discs, tyres and tubes have been sourced from reputed automotive vendors. The plant is equipped with state-of-the-art technology with comprehensive full vehicle performance testing with a test track, motorised conveyor assembly line with modern assembly tools.
The BSA eScooters are certified by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to be used in public roads in India. Maintenance-free batteries and motors make BSA eScooters 100-per cent trouble free. The BSA eScooters have an efficiency of 82 per cent to 85 per cent in comparison to petrol-run vehicles, which TII says have an efficiency of 35 per cent to 38 per cent.
"BSA Motors, a strategic business unit was consciously formed to ensure focus and attention to the growing eScooter market in India," said Arun Alagappan, senior vice president, BSA Motors. "The BSA marketing team is constantly tracking leading style and fashion trends among the youth and their way of life. Hence, care has been taken on every aspect of the marketing mix to suit it to the target group. Our initial thrust will be in the south Indian market and would be accessible with wide range of dealership network shortly."
BSA Motors has carried out extensive market research to understand customer preferences in terms of features, colours, graphics and product names. The products have been specifically designed to suit Indian conditions. Every model has gone through extensive tests and validation to suit to the Indian roads and weather.
Press advertisements of BSA Motors calling for 40 dealerships in South India had a response from 400 dealers, out of which the best 45 applications were selected for the launch phase. BSA Motors initially plans to set up 45 exclusive dealerships before December 2008 in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry and Goa.
All BSA Motors showrooms in the country will also have service centres to provide complete service. For effective after sales service, BSA Motors plans to set up a centralised customer-care call centre. BSA Motors' customers can shortly call on GSM and Toll free VSNL number or SMS for product queries, test rides and service related issues.
The management of BSA Motors comprises of Mr. M M Murugappan, chairman, Tube Investments of India, L Ramkumar managing director, Tube Investments India, Arun Alagappan, senior vice president, BSA Motors and K B Srinivasan, general manager, BSA Motors.
Headquartered in Chennai, the 29-company Murugappa Group has a leading position in diverse areas of business including engineering, abrasives, finance, general insurance, bicycles, sugar, farm inputs, fertilisers, plantations, bio-products and nutraceuticals, with manufacturing facilities spread across 13 states. The group has forged strong joint venture alliances with leading international companies like DBS Bank, Mitsui Sumitomo, Cargill, Foskor, China Engineering & Exploration Bureau and Groupe Chimique Tunisien, and has consolidated its status as one of the fastest growing diversified business houses in India.