M&M to rectify Stallio gearbox

Automaker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has offered to rectify a problem in the gearbox of some of its 110cc Stallio motorcycles. The Stallio marked the entry of the maker of utility vehicles and tractors into the highly competitive motorcycle market.

Responding to a query on problems with the Stallio gearbox, M&M in a statement said: “We... are aware that certain parts of the bike require some fine tuning and adjustment in a small proportion of the product. We are proactively addressing the same.”

However, the company did not furnish any details on how many motorcycles have a gearbox problem and need to be rectified.

Since its launch in September 2010, M&M has sold over 5,135 Stallios until January this year. However, average sales of the Stallio during the last two months have been less than 400 units a month. In comparison, the country’s leading two-wheeler makers like Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor and Honda sell an average of over 100,000 bikes a month in the 75-125cc segment.

StallioWhile recalls, repairs and retrofits are fairly common in the passenger car industry — recent domestic instances include Honda’s recall of some versions of the City and Tata Motors’ retrofit of the Nano — there have been very few cases for motorcycles.

M&M has also encountered delivery problems with the Stallio. Its two-wheeler dealers have been asking potential buyers to wait for at least a month for delivery. The bike costs Rs 52,300 (on the road in Mumbai). The company maintains that demand for the bike has been very strong since launch, and that it has been unable to meet it because of inadequate supply of parts by vendors.

“When we launched the Stallio, the response we received was very positive and we had significant demand. However, today we are faced with certain supply-chain related constraints of some critical components. This is a short-term phenomenon and will be sorted out latest by June 2011,” M&M stated.

The company is trying to resolve supply-side issues by ramping up production at its facility in Pithampur near Indore. Brakes have also been applied to plans to add new dealers, particularly in areas where the brand has a strong pull, because of low volumes.

Most of M&M’s stable of two-wheelers includes automatic scooters such as the Rodeo, Duro and Flyte. Motorcycles are more popular in semi-urban and rural areas, as is evident from the success of models belonging to Hero Honda and Bajaj in those areas.