The company has been struggling in the domestic market, having lost its long standing number 3 position to Honda last year and is in danger of losing further steam this year.
The executive segment is an area the company has never succeeded, its two previous offerings — the Flame and the clutch-less Jive — having been under performers. With the Phoenix, priced at R49,900-52,000 (ex-showroom Delhi), the company hopes to rise from the ashes.
“This launch will increase our marketshare in the segment,” said HS Goindi, president-marketing, TVS Motor Company. “We intend to sell around 20,000 bikes a month to start with. We have enough capacity (to meet demand).”
Goindi was evasive on growth on Monday.
“The Flame never took off as due to the controversy (on patent infringement with Bajaj) shifted the focus elsewhere,” he said. “The Jive was I think ahead of its time. The market did not understand the clutch less concept. With Phoenix we hope to get it right this time.”