Longtime advocates of more Taiwan investment in India like me are pleased to see globalization hard at work in the Taiwan-India relationship. The Taiwan scooter giant Sanyang (SYM) is cooperating with Indian scooter pioneer Kinetic, from a factory in Pune, to market a Taiwan scooter in India aimed at women:

Kinetic has tied up with Taiwanese two-wheeler maker SYM to introduce products from its portfolio in the Indian market.

SYM scooters would be jointly marketed as Kinetic-SYM in the country, the company said in a statement.

The company is targeting women buyers through its latest 125cc offering, it said.

“Our upcoming Kinetic-SYM scooter would appeal to women riders, and would be positioned accordingly. With SYM’s technology, Kinetic’s brand presence and Bipasha Basu as brand ambassador, I am confident that the Kinetic-SYM scooter would be a winner,” Ajinkya Firodia, VP (sales & marketing), Kinetic, said in the statement.

Bipasha Basu would feature in mainstream advertising campaign for the Kinetic-SYM scooter including television, print and internet, the statement added.

Indian actress Bipasha Basu, the uber-babe whose picture adorns this blogpost at the top, is the ad spokesman for the project.

More Bipasha.

Apparently she is a controversial figure in Indian cinema news, because she has a more or less normal love life. The company notes:

On being asked if the decision to rope in Basu had anything to do with her ability to attract controversy, Firodia answers, “Our market research showed that Bipasha Basu, perceived as a modern and independent high achiever, is the role model for many young girls who admire her style and success. In fact, the support for her was unanimous, with a 100 per cent perfect brand fit.”

The upcoming Kinetic-SYM scooter, from Kinetic’s association with Taiwan’s $1.1 billion automotive giant SYM, will be targeted at women riders. It features a 125cc engine and promises to offer best-in-class performance, technology and user-friendly features. Basu was identified as a great brand fit based on comprehensive research among 1,200 intending buyers of gearless scooters.

Firodia adds, “Basu was viewed as a woman who has made it on her own merit and signifies the independent modern woman. Her role in the movie, ‘Corporate’, was found to be the favourite portrayal of today’s professional woman, and clinched her selection as the brand ambassador for the Kinetic-SYM scooter.”

Basu will feature in the mainstream advertising campaign for the Kinetic-SYM scooter, including television, print and Internet. An outdoor campaign of hoardings and contests is also part of the plan. A special audio-visual that demonstrates the new scooter, to be played in all Kinetic dealerships, will also feature Basu – an innovative launch plan.

Kinetic has three decades of expertise in two wheelers, a nationwide distribution network and state of the art manufacturing plants. Currently, the company is preparing for the first and much anticipated launch from its association with Taiwanese two wheeler major SYM – a fast track Asian brand that is making rapid gains in Asian and European countries, riding on its R&D and quality strengths and aggressive global expansion strategy.

A recent article described Sanyang’s place in the world:

For over 15 years the two wheeler segment in India has not seen any significant new international brand entrants (except Honda). This is now changing, as Kinetic and SYM readies for the launch of a scooter from one of the world’s biggest and rapidly growing brand.

SYM or San Yang Motor Company, is part of (San Yang Industry Company Limited), a $1.1 billion automobile giant from Taiwan. A market leader since 1956, SYM manufactures a complete range of automobiles from scooters (50- 500cc), motorcycles, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), and 4 wheelers in collaboration with the Hyundai Motor Company Limited. SYM is developing its own range of Light Commercial Vehicles to be sold under its own brand name.

SYM has a large global presence with 5 factories - in Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and now in India, with Kinetic. SYM has a family of over 1.22 crore satisfied customers globally and holds the number one position in Vietnam’s bustling scooters segment, competing with Japanese brands. SYM exports to several countries and is the fastest growing 2-wheeler brand in Europe.

SYM credits its success to its superior R&D achievements that include development and perfection of key technologies like fuel injection, electric, 4-valve systems, ceramic coated cylinder technology. For example - all SYM vehicles come with a lifetime warranty on their engines in Taiwan. To reflect its high quality confidence, SYM has recently adopted a brand promise known as “Engine of Life “.

SYM has been recognized by 15 quality awards, and was also the only automobile major to win Taiwan’s leading Superbrand award in year 2007. SYM has a unique, specially created lab for NVH technology (aimed at reducing the irritation factors of noise, vibration and harshness) to deliver a silent, smooth and enjoyable riding experience. SYM is getting ready for entry into the world’s second largest two wheeler market: India, by way of its partnership with a pioneering company and well-established brand in two wheelers – Kinetic Motor Company.

Kinetic’s vast dealership network comprises of 400 dealers and 600 sub-dealers in India, over 30 years of experience in the Indian two wheeler industry and world class manufacturing facility at Pithampur near Indore, provides SYM a perfect platform to launch their international superior range of two wheelers in India. SYM partnership with Kinetic includes an 11.1% equity stake and a technical collaboration.

Mr. Chen, Executive Director, Kinetic-SYM, stated their plans for India: “India is a large, growing and changing market. We believe that the SYM two wheelers will provide a delightful ownership experience. SYM believes in bringing the best and latest products in every country that it operates in. For India also, we aim to launch products that are up-to-date globally.” The product could be a 125cc scooterette.

Cooperation like this is good news: India’s economy has also been on a run, though without the publicity that China’s economy is getting. Diversification to new markets is just what the island needs.