The American bike manufacturer, UM International, will now start retailing bikes in India. After a long wait, many people who were waiting to get their hands on Renegade will finally be able to do as UM will start selling in India. They will start rolling out its cruiser model from its brand new 56-acre plant set up in Kashipur, Uttarakhand.
They are the latest entrant in the Indian two-wheeler industry. Initially, they plan to sell bikes in the much-demanded 200cc-600cc segment. They will be focusing on the leisure bikes and also plan to make India its hub for the global market.
UM will start selling in India? How?
Rajeev Mishra, Director, UM India, shared his plans with the media. He said that they have already arranged for 50 dealerships in 34 towns and cities across India. He further added, “We have set up the broad infrastructure to tap the fast growing leisure biking segment. To develop India-specific product design, innovation and engineering, we have set up a local R&D centre in India with a strong team of 22 engineers to complement the work of our Miami-based global R&D and Design centre that carries American DNA.”
There has been an initial investment of Rs.100 crore towards the formation of a joint venture with Lohia Auto – UM Lohia Two-Wheelers Pvt. Ltd. (UML). They are woking on a new concept to provide exceptional riding experience to the riders. Further, they already have bookings of roughly 4200 units.
They will face direct competition from the likes of Royal Enfield in the India biking market. A part of their expansion strategy in India will be the introduction of new bikes with sports and racing pedigree. Mishra then said, “We have studied through our surveys that there is a huge liking for cruisers kind of bikes in India, yet many are not available in the price range of Rs 1 to 2 lakh. With our locally developed bikes, we aim to offer customers premium bikes customised especially for the Indian roads at extremely affordable prices.”
A little more detail
The company has been actively taking extensive feedbacks from its customers. As a result, they have improved their wheelbase, plastic, braking, switches, improved ground clearance as well as a better fit and finish during its 6-month-long trial period.
UM will start selling in India and the first model to hit the road will be ‘Renegade’. Currently, the bike is 50-60% locally made while the engine is being imported from China. Eventually, UM will be making the bike completely in India. Their current attention will be on the cruisers but in the future, they plan to launch scooters as well because their demand has been seeing an exorbitant growth of 20% from five consecutive years.
UM sells 200,000 units globally and has its presence in 35 countries. They are also planning joint ventures in Bangladesh and Philippines to meet the demand there. They will eventually spread into the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets which include Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.