Tube Investments to make electric motorcycles; to enter speciality retail
15 February 2008
Chennai: The Rs1636-crore revenue engineering and cycles major Tube Investments of India Limited has planned to enter the electric bike and specialty retail segments.It plans to import the electric bikes from Taiwan and China as completely knocked down (CKD) units for reassembly in India.
Having missed the opportunity to make mopeds despite having the requisite licences, Tube Investments does plans to make good by being an early entrant to this time segment.
The company's plans of launching its electric bikes moved further with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) approving three models of 250cc bikes and evaluating one more model.
The new business will be under the Rs511-crore revenue cycles division, TI Cycles due to synergies in operations and the fact that TI Cycles already has an extensive distribution network which could be leveraged in marketing the electric motorcycles.
According to officials the electric bikes will be sold through BSA GO retail network as well as other outlets, though the company is also exploring setting up a separate distribution network for the electric two-wheelers.
Though big two-wheeler companies are only now entering the electric two-wheeler market after noting the success of smaller players who seeded the market attracting larger manufacturers like Hero, TVS Motor Limited, Kinetic.
It would be interesting to see how TI Cycles converts Lady Bird, its ladies cycle model into electric scooter riders.
Tube Investments has also received shareholder approval to enter the specialty retail segment to retail sports, adventure and fitness products.