TVS Suzuki, the country's leading two-wheeler manufacturer, has launched the Fiero - a 150-cc four-stroke motorcycle.
TVS Suzuki, incorporated in 1982, is a joint venture between Sundaram Clayton (TVS group) and Suzuki Motor Corporation. Along with Bajaj Auto, it is the only other company in the two-wheeler market with a presence in all three segments - scooters (1% market share in July 1999), mopeds (54% market share) and motorcycles (20% market share).
In a statement to a leading financial newspaper, the company chairman Venu Srinivasan remarked that the 150-cc Suzuki Fiero is being positioned as 100-cc plus commuter bike for the urban market. The motorcycle comes with a 12 bhp power and mileage of 57 km per litre in actual city driving conditions.
The Fiero is way behind schedule (6 months), as the company was pre-occupied with the Spectra. Nevertheless, TVS Suzuki is confident of selling 7,000-8,000 motorcycles in FY2000. It sees a market of 50,000 units for the Fiero in FY2001.
If the runaway success of the CBZ is any indication, there is a latent market for 100-150 cc motorcycles. Demand for such motorcycles is high, and outstrips supply as Hero Honda is the only manufacturer servicing this segment and has been ruling the roost unchallenged. The Fiero's launch will correct that. It will seek to make a dent in CBZ's market share. Although details of the Fiero's price were not available, if it is close to the CBZ, then the latter will have a tough fight on its hands.
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