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Segway coming to India, will cost more than a car

autos Updated: Feb 03, 2010 21:30 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times
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Segway, the two-wheeled personal mobile vehicle that some see as a rich man’s toy, is set to hit Indian roads by March.

Known for its battery-operated, zero-emission two-wheelers that can carry an individual at a maximum speed of 25 km per hour, Segway was developed as a vehicle to handle all kinds of terrains and narrow paths, besides sidewalks.

It is popular the world over, but its steep cost in India — Rs 3 lakh-plus — may hamper its prospects.

“We do not expect many individuals to buy our vehicles barring maybe the 200,000 high net worth individuals," said Jason G Barton, vice president, worldwide sales, Segway Inc. “Our focus will be on commercial usage and for policing where we see tremendous potential. From Special Economic Zones, to airports, golf courses, malls and big factories, these vehicles have high practical utility.”

The company has tied up with Bird Group of Companies, which is into high-end retail covering BMW cars to luxury yachts. The vehicles would be imported from New Hampshire near Boston sold through Bird’s 30 centres across the country.

Price notwithstanding, Segway believes return on investment will be high.

"It may appear to be a rich man's toy but if it was just that, Segway would not have come here," said Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group.

"Our prime target would be commercial establishments and we will also offer it on lease.”

But what about the roads?

“The roads here obviously are not suitable, but in congested areas like Paharganj and Chandni Chowk, the local police will find the flexibility of movement Segway offers very useful," Bhatia said.