In a surprise story, Economic Times has shared that the auto major Honda may make its foray into the ATV segment in India. Currently the world leader in ATVs Polaris has been the sole presence in the ATV segment that is witnessing considerable growth.
ATVs are compact and open motor vehicles with large treaded tyres that have spanned an entire new culture of Off-Road Adventure in India and these ATVS have also seen takers in security forces such as the Army, Paramilitary and some State Police Forces.
Polaris has so far received warm reception in India with ATV sales hovering around a healthy 1,200 units annually. ATVs demand is set to rocket up further by the boom of the leisure industry comprising of hospitality and off-road enthusiast sectors.
According to Economic Times, an unidentified source from Honda Motors connected to the development has said
“There has been strong growth in the past two years, with consistent demand coming from individuals, hospitality sector, adventure parks and off-roading enthusiasts. Honda is keen to foray with its high-end products and leverage its brand strength in the Indian market.”
The Honda ATV range comes in two variants – Utility and Sports.
Sports range comprises of four models and begins with a base 90cc – TRX90X costing around 1.8lakh INR. The high end 450R comes with a 450cc engine at 5lakh INR. The Utility range has six models and the engine options extend from a 229cc air-cooled unit to a 675cc liquid-cooled unit.
The huge brand following for Honda and the in home production of ATVs at Honda plants will provide them considerable edge in terms of pricing over the competing Polaris.
To tackle the higher tax slab of 100% over the ATV imports Polaris has joined forces with Eicher Motors Pvt. Ltd to set up a manufacturing facility at an investment of 250 Crores INR. The venture will become operational by 2015.
Despite having ATV ranges international manufacturers like Suzuki and Yamaha have kept themselves away from this segment and with Honda’s possible entry this might change in near future.
-by Saravana Priyan