Why BMW ups its bets on TVS Motor Partnership, and India

Why BMW ups its bets on TVS Motor Partnership, and India

BMW Motorrad, the two-wheeler arm of the German luxury major BMW, targets big growth in its EV sales. Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad says the target is to double the share of EVs in his company’s global sales this year. Last year, out of BMW Motorrad’s total sales of 200,000 units, 2.5% were EVs. The target this year is to gain 5% of sales.

TVS Motor’s Hosur plant will be the sole production base for the low voltage EV. Dr. Scramm says that TVS Motor will be the partner for EVs in the low voltage (below 11kW) BMW EVs. EVs of 11 kW and above will be made by BMW Motorrad as it derives the required technology from the BMW car division.

In 2024, BMW India will also bank on India to ramp up its presence in EVs. The TVS Motor-produced CE 02, an e-parkour, as BMW Motorrad calls it, will be launched in Europe around April. It will be priced at EUR 8,500. The EV will be available with a 4kW battery pack, and will have a riding range of 90 km, and a top speed of 90km/h.

The CE 02 also marks the progression of the 10-year alliance between BMW Motorrad and TVS Motor. It’s the first model to be co-designed and co-developed by the partners. The first product, the 310 cc motorcycle, available in multiple variants, was designed by BMW Motorrad, and produced by TVS Motor.

Five motorcycle offerings have been introduced between the BMW and TVS brands, in the 310 platform. The 150,000th BMW (which has 3 of the 5 offerings) was rolled out on Friday. TVS, with the Apache 310 RR, has sold 25,000 units. A second one, RTR 310, launched a month earlier is yet to go on sale.

Dr. Schramm revealed that sharing the ‘RR’ brand suffix with TVS Motor was a “personal experiment”, as the Board wasn’t in favour of it. The experiment seems to be paying off, but the BMW Motorrad Head says it may not be taken as a “blueprint for the future”.

More products based on the 310 RR platform are being planned. New platforms are also being developed by the partners. Highlighting the success achieved by the alliance so far, Dr. Schramm said, “An Indian company producing for a German premium brand is not common.”

K N Radhakrishnan, Director & CEO, TVS Motor  and Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad.

K N Radhakrishnan, Director & CEO, TVS Motor and Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad.

K N Radhakrishnan, Director & CEO, TVS Motor , said that the 10-year partnership, based on common values and philosophy of customer first, will continue “for many more years, and will see many more products, and technologies.”

What could be fuelling that is the results achieved so far. With products based on only one platform, 12% of BMW Motorrad’s global production comes from TVS Motor’s Hosur plant.

With the new move in the electric mobility space, and with more ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) products planned for production by TVS Motor, India’s role in BMW Motorrad’s global scheme of things is set to grow bigger.

As a market, India contributes close to 5% of BMW Motorrad’s global sales. It’s now one of the top 10 markets for the global premium two-wheeler maker. As aspirations grow in India, where the first 1,000 BMW 310s got sold in 100 days, the share is likely to climb higher. And, TVS Motor will be the partner for what are classified as “lower premium” motorcycles by BMW Motorrad.

The German two-wheeler maker currently has 34 offerings in its portfolio worldwide, of which 3 are made by TVS Motor.

To tap the growing EV megatrend well, BMW Motorrad plans to launch an electric two-wheeler every 16-24 months. Its first electric motorcycle is scheduled for a 2026 launch.

The base technology for the future, Dr. Schramm said, will be electric, and digitalisation or connected tech along with it will also be equally significant. And both of these technologies are also growing focus areas of TVS Motor, which could pave the way for even closer collaboration between the two partners.”

Even as the scope and scale of the collaboration may go up, Dr. Schramm ruled out the possibility of any equity partnership between BMW Motorrad and TVS Motor.

The shape of the collaboration may not matter as long as there are mutual benefits. As for the new result of joint efforts, the CE 02, TVS will have its version of the same, like the 310RR motorcycle.

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