As the West gradually loses its grip on world economic and political power, it’s only natural that global industries refocus their efforts to market and develop products for the new guards of the economic order.
As this decade nears middle age, we are seeing more and more motorcycle companies seeking a foothold in South Asian, East Asian and Southeast Asian markets.
The reasons are simple: larger, more populous markets with higher percentages of prospective riders that are rapidly gaining economic and social standing means more people to sell to.
Thus as two-wheelers become more of a commodity of choice as well as commodity of necessity, it opens up opportunities for heretofore unattainable brands to begin marketing to newly affluent demographics.
Recognizing these opportunities, Triumph motorcycles has announced plans to bring the Daytona 675 and 10 other models to India. Termed “super-premium” motorcycles, they will cater to the wants and needs of the uber-rich overclass that exists in India’s cosmopolitan main cities and recently emergent techno-cities.
As these super-premium bikes will be imported (and from not to far in Southeast Asia), they’ll retail at a relatively high premium compared to domestically produced motorcycles.
The Triumph Daytona 675R, for example, will sell for 10.15 Lakh rupees which comes out to around $16,300 US Dollars. That is roughly $3,000 more than it sells for in the United States.
Marketing Director for Triumph’s India operations, Vinay Sumbly, recently told Forbes India that the company intends to sell 1000 super premium bikes for 2014.
I was in Mumbai, India this past summer, and while there are indeed plenty of rich folks with premium tastes there, the local infrastructure has not kept up with the rise of the one-percenters.
We cannot fathom the nightmare it would be to hustle a Daytona 675R around that city. A Triumph Tiger 800, however, would be right at home.
Then again, rich people will do as rich people want, and they will continue to sport contradictory lifestyle choices regardless of their practical limitations.
Case in point, my cousin, who lives in a part of the city I informally call “pot-hole paradise,” recently spent over $80k USD on a low-slung Audi A6 sportscar after selling his much more practical Toyota CUV. Go figure.