ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) have slowly started gaining popularity in India with the entry of the ATV makers like Polaris and Nebula in India. But what has kept majority of ATV manufacturers (like Honda or Kawasaki) away from India has been the high costs of the vehicles as they had to be brought into the country via the CBU route, reason being that the law did not allow them to be assembled in India. The high prices would mean slow sales and thus these companies did not want to take much of risk in this segment. The Indian government has finally woken from the slumber and realised that these recreational vehicles are becoming popular in the country off late and has allowed the local manufacturing of ATVs in India.
ATVs are generally used for adventure sports, for patrolling by the private or public security agencies in difficult terrains and by individuals for their leisure use on their farms and personal property. You can’t ride an ATV on a road so it is quite a niche market that the manufacturers of these vehicles cater to in India. The US-based ATV manufacturer, Polaris already has a wide range of ATVs on sale in India is now considering manufacturing the vehicles in India, Honda shares the same thought as well.
Until now, the ATVs were being either assembled via the CKD route in India or were being imported which resulted in a levy of atleast 100% tax on them. ATVs usually cost between Rs 7-30 lakh in India which pit them against some of the luxury cars and SUVs but with a green light to local manufacturing, this price range is expected to come down considerably which will result in opening of an all new segment of ATVs.
The BSF is currently testing ATVs for phasing out the camels and even the Coastal Police are considering the usage of these to patrol areas where it is difficult to go in a normal vehicle. Even the Gujarat Police has ordered ATVs from Polaris. Polaris is also considering off-road ambulances for difficult terrains and this will be the most interesting bit to see in near future. With local manufacturing of ATVs getting a green signal and the 2014 Auto Expo around the corner, can we expect companies like Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki to make an announcement.