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Scooter & Industry News: MODENAS Launches 3 scooters - The Modenas Karisma 125, Elegance 250i & KYMCO 250i Downtown
I had nothing better to do last friday afternoon. It was after lunch and I had no appointments as it was friday. No one does appointments on friday after lunch these days (unless your boss is cruel or you are a cruel boss). So anyway, I had an invite from the people at DRB-Hicom to attend the launch of two new scooter models from MODENAS (their motorcycle division basically) - the all-new Karisma 125 and Elegan 250i as well as the launch of the KYMCO 250i Downtown. The Kymco scooter is actually a new model from Modenas' latest principal KYMCO, who make and sell scooters in many parts of the world, and is a market leader in its home-country, Taiwan.
I attended not as a person covering scooters, but as a person interested in covering all aspects of the Malaysian automotive industry. So friday was another milestone for Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn Bhd - MODENAS - as well as its distributing arm, Edaran Modenas or EMOS. Ever since they launched their first underbone motorcycle (aka kapchai) in 1996, MODENAS has always been actively involved in research and development of motorcycles to meet the needs of Malaysian motorcyclists. This has resulted in over than 15 products launched into the market to date. So whilst the launch of the new Karisma and Elegance are a big thing, the Kymco partnership is also interesting as it marks a new step in Modenas.
KYMCO itself, since its founding in 1964, has grown by leaps and bounds. It has emerged as a major player in the industry, benefitting from its successful venture with Honda, who eventually became a significant shareholder in KYMCO. KYMCO’s brand of scooters and motorcycles is today available in 97 countries globally. KYMCO and DRB-HICOM can leverage on each other’s strengths and experience, encompassing vehicle design and development, manufacturing of components and vehicle manufacturing, assembly and importation, to vehicle inspection, distribution, sales and after-sales activities.
The project development of our new product started in January this year. This was immediately after signing the Importation, Distribution and Technology License Agreement between the two companies, which sees EMOS becoming the exclusive distributor of KYMCO scooters.
Over the past three years, the scooter market share in the industry has increased from 13% to 16% from 2014 to 2016. The highest annual volume in this period was 73,000 units achieved in 2014, from the total industry volume of 459,094 units. This scooter segment is expected to register a positive growth for the next five years with an average annual increase of 5%.
Therefore this collaboration with KYMCO is timely. It will enable EMOS, MODENAS’s sales and marketing arm, to broaden its range of products in the market to capture the growth. This will help strengthen our position and market share in the industry. The KYMCO 250i Downtown gets top of the line features as well as ABS braking system. It also DOHC 250cc engine which makes 22.9hp and 23.1Nm torque via a CVT gearbox. It weighs 191kg dry. It is also more 'superbike' looking than the Elegan 250i. Which also means that it may get you stuck in traffic but will cruise well ont he highways with its larger wheels (14inch 120/80 front 13inch 150/70 rear)
As for the more 'local' scooters, MODENAS first launched its Karisma in 2003, while the first Elegan 150 was introduced a year later. This new generation of Karisma 125 is designed to express an active and youthful lifestyle. It even has a USB charging port. None of the bigger scooters launched today has one of those. It has a dry weight of 113kg and the 125cc engine makes 9.3hp and 9Nm torque via a CVT. It has all round 14 inch wheels.
The larger Elegan 250i is targeted at young executives who are trend followers. It has a SOHC 250cc engine (which makes it less powerful than the one used in the KYMCO 250i) and it has no ABS braking systems. These two details make it the more affordable 250cc scooter.It weighs 193Kg dry (slightly heavier than the Downtown), 22.1hp and 22.4Nm torque via a CVT with the same wheel and tyre size as the Kymco.
So another important fact is that the Karisma 125 and Elegan 250i BOTH use KYMCO engines.
New business partners. A while ago MODENAS was using Kawasaki technology to develop their bikes. Do note that Kawasaki actually has a share in MODENAS (19% Kawasaki, 81% DRB-Hicom). This time it is the Taiwanese KYMCO who will be their latest technology partners. But I also took note that KYMCO has a JV company with Kawasaki in China. I believe ultimately Kawasaki still has their hand in the pie. Such is the global automotive industry. Everyone has something somewhere.
I think actually learnt something more in attending this event.