When we talk 'Polaris', the first thing that would come to your mind is off-road vehicles. But, the company has more than just that. Polaris manufactures motorcycles, snowmobiles, and electric powered vehicles.
As an auto enthusiast, you must be wondering, what kind of motorcycles does Polaris produce? The answer—Indian Motorcycles and Victory Motorcycles. Polaris, the US-based company, now owns the iconic Indian Motorcycles brand, which is currently available in India as well.
As of October 2015, Indian Motorcycles have five dealerships spread across India, and their lineup is in direct competition with Harley-Davidson. Both brands make big, V-twin cruisers.
Is this a concern to Indian Motorcycles since Harley-Davidson entered India earlier? Does the brand feel threatened? We had the opportunity to chat with Pankaj Dubey, the Managing Director of Polaris India, and this is what he had to say to a few questions:
Is Harley-Davidson a threat to you in India?
No, Harley-Davidson is not a threat to us in India. We do not see them as competition at all since we like to set new benchmarks, improve on them and work towards breaking them ourselves. So, in terms of competition, we do not see any motorcycle manufacturer as one, because, we understand quality and most importantly, the value.
Even in terms of quality, every small component is of the highest grade, and our fit and finish is top class. That, and the legacy of the brand, be it Polaris or Indian, is what keeps our customers smiling, which in turn makes us happy.
India as a market, which is the most important region?
As a company, we take the whole country as a market than regions. We have opened five dealerships in the country already, which directly shows what customers want. To break it down, South India is more important; thus the reason for Indian Motorcycles having three outlets here. To be even more specific, Bangalore is quite important, because customers here are more technically sound, and are probably the best when it comes to motorcycles of this class. However, in terms of sale, every region plays an important role.
Are there plans to offer a smaller motorcycle in terms of displacement to cater to the mass in India?
Indian Motorcycles as a brand want to keep our lineup in India the same as the rest of the world. We at the moment work with two engines—a 1200 cc unit and an 1811 cc unit. If there has to be a new engine, it will be for the global market and not India-specific. As far as new products are concerned, I won't be able to reveal details.