TVS Motor Company has just launched its flagship, the TVS Apache RR 310 at a price of Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom). The TVS Apache RR 310 is the most important launch for TVS as it is their largest capacity offering so far, at 313cc, and also their first motorcycle to come out of the TVS-BMW Motorrad collaboration, which has also led to the production of the BMW G 310 R and the BMW G 310 GS. The TVS Apache RR 310 began life as TVS Akula concept at the 2016 Auto Expo and has been developed by TVS Racing, as all Apaches are. Positioned as a premium sportsbike, the Apache RR 310 is expected to take on the KTM RC 390 as also twin-cylinder engined sportsbikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Yamaha YZF-R3, but undercuts all their prices by a fair margin. Speaking to OVERDRIVE, joint MD of TVS Motor Company, Sudarshan Venu says that the Apache RR 310 marks a new direction for growth for the manufacturer. Excerpts:
Sudarshan Venu (left) at the launch of the TVS Apache RR 310
Why did you choose to launch the TVS Apache RR 310? What does it mean to you in terms of business?
Sudarshan Venu: For TVS, it is a very important into the fast-growing super premium category. It's also building up the Apache brand which has stood for racing. And, we look to further delight our Apache customers who've been a very good following for us, with this uniquely designed and developed product. The Apache RR 310 is based on race-crafted technology and brings a unique riding experience. We believe the super premium category will grow further, and we definitely feel we will be a strong part of that growth story.
Along with this growth, you've also spoken about growth in market share. It may be early, but what would you like to achieve in terms of market share?
SV: We are looking to appeal to the Apache customers and are looking at 10,000 units in the first year.
TVS has done well with exports recently, being the second largest exporter among two-wheeler brands. What is your estimate for the export-to-domestic market ratio for the Apache RR 310?
SV: We see a strong a performance both, in the domestic as well as international markets. This is why are looking to export to all the 60 countries (where TVS already exports).
You are strengthening your space in the racing segment which has always been a favourite segment for TVS. But in terms of the commuter segment, do you see TVS as committed there with all the efforts towards pushing the racing segment now?
SV: We will continue to launch products across all segments, with a focus on all our customers in India and around the world.
You are investing in electric vehicles. Are you happy with the infrastructure that supports your push towards electric vehicles?
SV: We definitely feel that electric is an important future for us, and we are investing in that space.