Polaris India Rides High On All-Terrain Vehicle Sales

September 2013 Powersport News McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Mumbai - New Delhi-based Polaris India Pvt. Ltd, the first to sell all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the country, has sold 700 of these vehicles since January, 2012, according to Pankaj Dubey, the company's managing director.

The local arm of the 3.2 billion US-based Polaris Industries Inc. may even consider locally manufacturing ATVs in the next two to three years, Dubey said in an interview recently.

The buyers of the ATVs-small, open motor vehicles fitted with large tyres-were mostly individuals, with government departments accounting for the rest.

Global automakers such as Yamaha Motor, Suzuki Motor and Honda Motor have ATVs in their portfolios but none of them have introduced them in the Indian market.

The average price of single-seater ATVs is Rs8-13 lakh while those that can seat four to six people are priced at Rs13-18 lakh.

Dubey expects an order of close to 100 units from government departments, including paramilitary forces, the Indian army and state police departments. The company, he said, has supplied some units to the Gujarat state police to patrol border areas.

In a bid to attract individual buyers, most of whom are high net-worth individuals, Polaris has created several so-called "experience zones" where visitors can test drive ATVs on specially-designed tracks for Rs 150-7,000 a ride.

The company is also in talks with holiday resorts and hotels to promote adventure tourism with ATVs.

In 2012, Polaris Inc. tied up with commercial vehicle maker, Eicher Motors Ltd and the equal joint venture will invest Rs250 crore over three years to set up a manufacturing facility, said Dubey.

Dubey declined to comment on the kind of models the JV would make but said it will launch a model in 2015.

The local unit will help the firm shave-off duty-India levies a duty of 100 percent on the import of ATVs.

Anil Sharma, senior analyst at global sales and forecasting firm IHS Automotive, said, "Polaris will have a free run in India, at least till newer companies enter the segment."

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