In 2012, Eicher Motors and Polaris Industries came together to sign a strategic joint venture agreement, with a strong purpose in mind — to design, develop, manufacture, and sell personal vehicles for emerging markets.
The first vehicle to roll out under the Eicher Polaris brand was the Multix, a compact four-wheeler, powered by a single-cylinder Greaves diesel engine. The Multix is available in a few cities across India, and we get a chance to speak with Pankaj Dubey, the CEO of Eicher Polaris.
Eicher Polaris aims at making personal vehicles for emerging markets. Will vehicles be limited to four-wheelers alone?
Yes. Vehicles that will be made under the Eicher Polaris brand will be only four-wheelers. We do not want to manufacture two-wheelers as the Indian Motorcycle brand is owned by us.
Speaking about the Multix itself, will there be other vehicles based on the same platform?
The Multix is currently available in two key variants — AX+ and MX. The two variants are available in BS-III and BS-IV compliant engines, and the power has been upped as well, from 10bhp to 13bhp.
Eicher Polaris' primary focus will be on this particular vehicle only for the time being, as the Multix is a newly launched product. At the moment, Eicher Polaris does not have plans for any new models.
When will the Multix be available in other parts of India?
The Multix's availability is limited at the moment, but the company has its expansion target set. Eicher Polaris is looking to have 150 dealerships by the third quarter of 2017.
The Multix has a unique feature to generate electricity — the rural market would have been the best market. Why wasn't the product concentrated there?
The primary target customers for the Multix is independent businessmen, be it in rural or urban areas. The Multix is available in a BS-III variant that is being sold in rural areas and the BS-IV variant is available in urban areas. The Multix is a product for pan India.
According to a research conducted by Eicher Polaris, there are almost 57 million independent businessmen in the country and the Multix eliminates a person having multiple vehicles, thus reducing costs.
Does the Multix attract any form of discounts or fall under government schemes?
No, the Multix does not fall under any government schemes as the vehicle comes with a regular diesel engine. There were a few privilige though. If the Multix was an electric vehicle (we do not have plans to build one in the near future), it would have come under the FAME scheme.