Triumph motorbikes to enter India in 2012

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Iconic British motorcycle maker Triumph said Tuesday it planned to enter India in 2012 to tap growing demand for bikes in the country, which is the fastest growing two-wheeler market after China.

The maker of the Daytona 675, Sprint and Rocket III motorcycle models will be coming solo to India, without a local partnership, Triumph's spokesman Paul Taylor told AFP by phone from the company's headquarters in Leicestershire.

"We plan to have our dealerships and products in place in India sometime next year," Taylor said.

Triumph plans to launch at least six to eight bikes in India, he said, without giving details.

"India has a great passion, knowledge and thirst for bikes," he added, calling it a small market with a huge growth potential.

Triumph comes to India when competition for premium bikes is heating up.

Motorcycle makers Harley-Davidson, BMW, Ducati and Yamaha already sell their high-end products in India, where half of India's 1.2 billion population is below the age of 25.

India sold 9.02 million motorcycles in the fiscal year ended March, a 23 percent growth year-on-year, according to industry data.

"India is a very important motorcycle market and Triumph has assessed it carefully before deciding to step in," Nick Bloor, chief executive of Triumph Motorcycles, said in a statement issued Tuesday.

"We see it as the next step in our global business model."

Triumph is yet to decide whether to sell imported bikes in India or having complete-knocked-down (CKD) kits, the spokesman said.

He declined to comment on how much they would invest in India.

"High-end bike makers are building their brand in India and positioning themselves for future growth," said Mahantesh Sabarad, auto analyst with Fortune Equity Brokers.

© 2011 AFP

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