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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Polaris eyes 100% growth in 5 years

CHENNAI: Off-road and all-terrain vehicle maker Polaris which is looking at a "minimum 100 percent growth" in the next 3-5 years will also start manufacturing its high-end motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in India.
The Indian subsidiary of the American major Polaris India, currently sells its all terrain vehicles, off-roaders, high-end two-wheelers and apparel range in fully imported form.

Pankaj Dubey, MD, Polaris India, said,"In 3-5 years we target a double digit growth and by 2020 we expect sales to grow 5-10 times, a minimum of 100% and maximum of 200%."

That growth spurt will give the company critical volumes to invest in local assembly in specific segments like high-end motorcycles and off-road vehicles.

In high-end motorcycles, the company has already launched its entire Indian range including the Indian Chief Classic, Indian Chief Vintage, Indian Chieftain and Indian Scout.

This year, Polaris launched the Indian Roadmaster and the new Indian Chief Dark Horse.

"The response has been much better than expected and the imported Indian Roadmaster and Indian Chief Dark Horse have already been booked," said Dubey.

"Right now we are studying the market. Our short-term strategy is to operate on CKD pricing by compromising on margins. Going forward we will look at CKD assembly in India."

Starting with a Gurgaon/NCR presence the company looks to establish a footprint in Chennai this week and in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad in the next 60 days.

"We are looking at the Indian market seriously and for the long-term," Dubey added.

In off-road vehicles too, Polaris will follow a similar strategy of growing volumes, before moving into local assembly.

"Polaris is committed to the growing Indian market, so in 3-5 years we should be able to do something about local assembly of offroad vehicles here," Dubey said.

Polaris India currently imports almost its entire global range but in some segments like the super speciality Brutus commercial vehicle range, the market is too niche to earn big volumes.

In electric vehicles, its Ranger EV off-road electric vehicle is already available in India and is beginning to picking up sales in Hyderabad and Kerala.

"We are also exploring launching our other electric vehicle range - the GEM products - here," said Dubey.

As for ATVs, they currently attracts three different category of customers - the adventure lovers; adventure parks and tourist centres where artificially created offroad conditions help people enjoy Polaris vehicles and institutional customers from the Indian Army, forest department and different state police forces.

In the adventure park segment, there are currently 39 Polaris Experience Zones or off-road tracks in places like Esselworld, Aamby Valley, Ramoji Film City as well as in tourist destinations like Guwahati, Ladakh, Gulmarg and Dimapur.

"Polaris has also made a breakthrough with the Indian Army and police forces in J&K, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujarat.

Our vehicles do well in coastal patrolling and we are also supplying vehicles to forest and tourism departments," he said.

Polaris which entered into a 50:50 JV with Eicher to make Multix multi-utility vehicle does not plan to expand the partnership to cover other products.

"Right now the collaboration is related only to the Multix project and there are no plans to do any other product with Eicher," he added.

However, Polaris India is exporting to neighbouring markets like Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

The company has already received one order from Pakistan recently and has 2 international dealerships (in Nepal and Kazakhstan) apart from 16 Indian dealerships.

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