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Indian Bike Makers Switch to ‘Specialty’ Bikes

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CHANDIGARH, India (Aug 11) – The Indian bicycle industry is looking at kids and health freaks to bail it out of its mounting problems. A ‘serious slump’ in the regular ‘black’ roadster segment has led to a marketing focus on the ‘speciality’ areas with mountain bikes and the kids bicycles coming out as the best […]

CHANDIGARH, India (Aug 11) – The Indian bicycle industry is looking at kids and health freaks to bail it out of its mounting problems. A ‘serious slump’ in the regular ‘black’ roadster segment has led to a marketing focus on the ‘speciality’ areas with mountain bikes and the kids bicycles coming out as the best sellers.
The big four of the Indian bicycle market – Hero, Atlas, TI Cycles and Avon and the smaller, local brands are concentrating on production, marketing and exports of bicycles for the younger ones.
Almost 20% of the pedal bikes production is already dedicated to non-adults or people below 18 years of age say industry sources. “A substantial part, say between 30% to 35%, of our production is for the speciality segment now,” says SK Rai, president, Hero Cycles, confirming the slide in the volumes.
The market has shrunk drastically in the last five years; production is down from 12 million units per year in ’01 to 9 million bicycles in the current year. Regular manufacturing troubles like labour unrest, escalating steel prices and competition from China has also taken its toll. But the recent revival in certain segments has given the industry some hope.

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