Interview with Shoeb Farooq, GM, Triumph Motorcycles India

By Team autoX | on December 20, 2019

Shoeb Farooq, GM, Triumph Motorcycles India, accepts the award for the Scrambler 1200

We absolutely loved the Scrambler 1200 – both on the dirt as well as on the tarmac – and the versatility it brings with it. What kind of response has the bike received in the market?

Well, it’s a crossover – a classic, with adventure capabilities. It is our flagship product within the Scrambler range, and, to be fair, it is a niche segment that isn’t too big. As you know, we’ve been working very closely with the adventure segment and its development in India. So, this bike is another way of pulling more customers into this genre of biking. Also, by offering the Scrambler 1200 after the Scrambler 900, we’ve been able to offer the right options to our customers to upgrade and the Scrambler 1200 has done fairly well in the market. However, we expected that the volumes won’t be very high, but, within the segment, we feel we’ve made very positive inroads.
 
You’ve got the classics on one side and the adventure bikes on the other, but this one’s a cross between the two. So, to whom does this bike cater to?

Somebody who’s just getting into the whole adventure motorcycling genre may find the whole concept, and even the mere presence, of a big adventure motorcycle a bit intimidating. So, for those who are upgrading from smaller bikes, but have a strong inclination for adventure riding and exploring difficult terrain, I think this bike makes a lot of sense. The bike’s capabilities, when it’s really put to the test, are simply amazing and one can really go places with this motorcycle. Also, with the charm of a classic-looking bike and the heart & attitude of an adventure motorcycle, it’s a highly desirable bike.
 
How easy or difficult is the BS-VI transition for the Indian market?

As a company, we’re well prepared. In fact, we’re not going to wait till March for this transition. I’m looking at as early as January 2020 to start the supply of BS-VI models in India, and, at our backend, we’re ready to deal with this transition. Also, I’m also looking at the liquidation of all the BS-IV stock in the Jan-Feb window. Overall, we’re in a very comfortable situation right now.
 
How is Triumph fairing in a difficult market?

The last 12 months have been quite difficult for the industry, but the past few months have seen positive momentum due to the festive season. As a brand, we’ve grown about 10-12% on the retail front in the past two months, which is a very positive sign against an industry that is still registering negative growth – especially the super-premium motorcycle segment that continues to degrow by about 15-20%. The only thing I’m concerned with is how to keep this momentum going. Nevertheless, I’m very positive about the plans that we have in place for the next few months and, therefore, we should be able to do much better than the overall industry. We know December grows for all of us, because of all the year-end opportunities. That will be followed by new products in the next quarter. March will also present a lot of opportunities due to the final BS-IV flush-out. So adding all of these opportunities, and combining it with slightly better customer sentiment, I’m seeing a positive push over the next 6-8 months.
  
There’s a fair bit of talk in the two-wheeler space about electrification. As a company, are there any developments on this front?

Yes, we recently tied up with global industry veterans to develop this technology. This is a very large-scale project, with a two-year timeframe. As a company, we have a lot of intent to be ready with this kind of a motorcycle sooner than later. So, we’re heading in the right direction and preparing for it.
 
The main challenge, I assume, would be to retain the essence of your bikes, while moving towards a new mode of propulsion?

Yes, after all, these are passion-purchases. So, it’ll be a challenge to ensure that the same thrill and excitement is offered in an electric motorcycle. But since we know our customers very well, we know what drives them, and we just need to pull the same values into our future electric motorcycles.   

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Tags: Triumph Scrambler 1200 Triumph

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