Cycle makers wheel in profits on aware India

first_imgThe bicycle has come a long way-from being just an affordable mode of transportation for the lower and lower middle class travellers a few years back, to a lifestyle choice that indicates concern for good health and environmental issues, such as containing pollution, in the present day context.”Now, bicycles are used for leisure, fitness, fun and recreation,” said Y. S. Upadhyay, senior vice president, Hero Cycles Ltd.Consumers are increasingly accepting that cycling is good for health and are inculcating the habit of riding a bicycle for leisure, to work as well as for sporting activities, such as mountain biking.”Bicycles today offer more than just the simple pleasure of cycling. From fitness and trekking to racing, bicycles today cover a much broader spectrum of activities than in the days of their predecessors,” said Shiv Inder Singh, managing director, Firefox Cycles.”India produces approximately 10 per cent of the world annual bicycles output, which is estimated at 12.5 crore units. Annual domestic demand for bicycles in India is approximately one crore units, out of which around 25 lakh units are bought by the government for various welfare schemes. Exports are largely made to Africa and the less developed economies. Negligible numbers are exported to western markets,” added Singh.Earlier, bicycles selling for between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 were considered high- end. However, now with global brands moving into the country this definition is changing with price points starting from Rs 15,000 and goes up to as high as a few lakh rupees.Not just price points, even the definition of the segments is changing. Hitherto, cycles were segmented as used by gents, ladies, children and the high-end ones. But now, in line with the global trend, lifestyle bikes are being segmented as per their usage. Thus, there are road bikes, mountain bikes, tourers, hybrids and BMX, to name a few. Virtually all the big names – Trek, Giant, Merida, Conondale and Gary Fisher – are present in the country.However, the market for high-end markets is just emerging.”Firefox enjoys 40-50 per cent market share in the high-end bicycle category. The high-end bikes constitute less than one per cent of the total market in terms of numbers and much higher in terms of value,” said Singh.Leading brands like Hero, TI Cycles, Atlas and Avon jointly make up 90 per cent of the country’s bicycle industry in terms of volume.”This fiscal approximately 1.4 crore units were sold. The cycle industry hopes to grow and touch a minimum of 1.5 crore units next fiscal,” said Upadhyay.Hero Cycles sold 56 lakh units this fiscal at a growth of 11- 12 per cent.”Two segments have seen visible growth, the children and the high-end segments. Rise in the number of nuclear families may be considered as one of the reasons where parents are willing to spend more on their children,” said Upadhyay.On new models, Singh said, “We are in a continuous process of upgrading our models and keep them at par with international standards. We will certainly be launching a few new models also.” Firefox cycles for children now cost Rs 3,000 and upwards, Rs 23,000 for adult bicycles and Rs 16,000 onwards for the Trek category.Courtesy: Mail Today  advertisementlast_img

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