Vimal Sumbly Joins TVS Motor Company to Lead Premium Two-Wheel Business
Sumbly will ride TVS’ new range of high-end motorcycles and scooters currently under development and help the Chennai-based company focus more on high-end bikes, people familiar with the development have told ET.
Over the past decade and a half, Sumbly has worked on various premium brands including Bajaj (Pulsar), KTM, Triumph and Royal Enfield. He had left Royal Enfield in February.
Sumbly could not immediately be reached for comment. An email sent to TVS Motor Company elicited no response.
While two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp is known for its consumer products, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters for its prowess in scooters, and Bajaj Auto for its range of premium bikes, TVS is perhaps the only manufacturer of two -wheels to have succeeded in creating a brand in all segments – from mopeds and scooters to consumer two-wheelers and electric two-wheelers. Now the focus is on high-end bikes to take it to the next level, the people quoted earlier said.
TVS Apache has gone from strength to strength over the years, helping the company corner around 25% of the high-end mainstream segment (150-350cc) or upgrade motorcycle market in the country, but his attempt with 310 RR was slow.
Sumbly’s role would not only take the Apache brand to the next level, but also realize the absolute potential of the TVS bikes co-developed with BMW, which has had a modest response so far.
Sumbly, who was previously the Indian director of British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph, joined Royal Enfield in 2018. There he was to take over domestic sales operations from company veteran Shaji Koshy, who was due to retire by then. He was, however, named head of Asia-Pacific instead.
Since Sumbly took over, Royal Enfield’s Asia Pacific business has multiplied, helping it sell around 10,000 units and generate over Rs 250 crore in revenue from the region in 2021 He had helped the company set up an assembly base in Thailand, which has now become a key pillar of the ball maker’s globalization strategy.
As head of TVS’ high-end two-wheeler business, Sumbly’s responsibility will not be limited to domestic operations alone, but he is expected to help TVS grow its global business, the sources said. Exports already represent a third of the company’s total volumes with more than one million units in 2021-22.