Non-resident industrialist Prasoon Mukherjee may soon assemble a three-wheeler named "Arjun" in West Bengal, while his ambition to launch a motorcycle under the same brand may take longer to realise.
"We could christen TVS King as Arjun for the markets in West Bengal," said TG Sridhar, chief operating officer of Mahabharat Motors, a venture promoted by Mukherjee, referring to their pact with Chennai-based TVS group to assemble their products in the state.
"Basically, we are still interested in developing Brand Arjun. But initially, we are focusing on assembling the existing TVS brands in West Bengal. Later, in consultation with TVS, we will see what best we can do for the new Brand Arjun," he added.
Mahabharat Motors, through its joint venture with the India's third largest two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Co, will be assembling the latter's products in their upcoming factory unit at Uluberia in Howrah district of West Bengal, not far from the state capital.
The initial models include TVS Sport, a two-wheeler, and TVS King, a three-wheeler.
"Maybe, there will be a new branding of our three-wheelers in West Bengal," was the cryptic reply from KN Radhakrishnan, president and chief executive of TVS Motor, when asked to comment on the proposal to rename TVS King as Arjun for the state.
"Building a new brand is a very complex process," Sridhar said, adding there will be no new brand offering from Mahabharat in the initial phase of its partnership with TVS.
"We won't divert our attention to the front-end like selling, marketing and branding, as TVS already has got a strong brand and excellent network. We will take advantage of that and increase production."
Mahabharat Motors will source all components for the motorcycles from TVS and its authorized vendors. The Uluberia unit will have a capacity of 1,000 units a month in the initial phase, which would be gradually increased to 5,000 units.
Sridhar said the company would focus on TVS Sport for the first six months before it starts concentrating on the three-wheeler. TVS has already launched its three-wheelers in six states - Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.
Mahabharat Motors is a joint venture between Indonesia-based Salim Group and Universal Success Enterprises, a Singapore-based diversified group with interests in power, port, infrastructure, real estate, energy trading and hospitality that is headed by Mukherjee.