BMW is reportedly in talks with TVS Motor to develop new motorcycles for India. A potential BMW-TVS partership would follow similar arrangements between Bajaj Auto and KTM and between Hero MotoCorp and Erik Buell Racing.
The Wall Street Journal reports the two companies are discussing a possible technological alliance. TVS is currently India’s fourth largest motorcycle manufacturer, behind Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj and Honda. TVS primarily produces small-displacement models such as the Apache RTR 180 and the Flame SR125.
India’s appetite for motorcycles is changing however, with an emerging middle-class seeking larger premium models. According to the Journal, sales of models larger than 125cc rose 17% over the past fiscal year to 2.99 million units. By comparison, the entire two-wheeled market in India rose only 12%, topping 10.1 million units.
BMW on the other hand, produces much larger models, all with the C650 Sport and C600GT using the company’s smallest displacement engines. Both scooters use a 647cc engine making them the smallest in BMW’s lineup but still much larger than the 177cc TVS Apache RTR 180. A partnership would help TVS meet India’s maturing market.
For BMW, a partnership could open up TVS’ established sales network, giving the German manufacturer a foothold in the market. BMW currently has three motorcycle dealerships in India.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]