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India’s Eicher Motors discontinues joint venture with American Polaris

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The UV is abandoned after it failed to make an impact in the market, despite initial success.

Eicher Motors, the parent firm that owns the popular motorcycle brand Royal Enfield in India, on Monday announced that it is shutting down a joint venture with the American POLARIS Industries as it failed to sustain the initial success of its product.

According to a press release, the board of directors of Eicher Polaris Private Limited (EPPL) held a board meeting on March 9 and passed a resolution to close all its operations with immediate effect.

Eicher Polaris Private Limited was established in 2012 as a joint venture of Eicher – a prominent player in Indian commercial vehicle space and Polaris, a leader in power sports industry. EPPL launched India’s first personal utility vehicle (PUV) “Multix,” a mini truck for off-road driving and on-road driving.

Multix was an initial success after EPPL started retail dealerships in seven states across India by investing close to $77 million (roughly 5 billion rupees). But later the product failed to make a mark in the Indian Utility Vehicle (UV) market, causing a net loss of $14 million (920 million rupees) to the company.

The statement from EPPL read, “Given its unique positioning and differentiated product features, Multix initially generated significant interest from customers. However, the initial interest could not be sustained and the subsequent sales performance was significantly slower than the company’s expectations.”

The company tried many revival strategies to build interest in the product, but the attempts went in vain.

“Despite several initiatives, the company’s performance could not be revived. Hence, the board of EPPL has concluded that in the present circumstances, it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to close the operations of the company,” says the release.

For existing customers of Multix, the company said it will continue to provide spare parts and service support, but will not make any more of the much-hyped Utility Vehicle.

Multix was introduced as an extremely adaptable 3 – in – 1 solution offering comfortable seating for a family of 5 ─ 1918 liters of space. It was powered by a diesel engine that boasted delivering fuel efficiency of 28.45 Km/ ltr. Multix was priced at just around $3,078.