TVS Motor ropes in global veteran as design head

Timothy Prentice

TVS Motor Co, one of India’s top motorcycle makers, said it appointed industry veteran Timothy Prentice as vice president in charge of design.

Having started his career at Honda’s US-based R&D team, Prentice won the Red Dot award for designing electric motorcycle Mission R in 2010.

Prentice has helped brands such as Triumph Motorcycles, Polaris, Windecker Aircraft, BMW Motorrad, Aprilia, Honda R&D, Disney Studios and Yamaha come up with notable products such as Triumph Thunderbird (2009) and Triumph Speed Triple (2011).

“Tim’s appointment is expected to further boost TVS Motor Company’s ability to stay ahead of rapid changes in design trends and maintain its competitive edge in future technology. Specialised in advanced design planning, Tim’s experience in designs for high performance electric vehicles will augment the company’s EV line-up design to the next level,” the Indian company said.

TVS Motor, which started out by focusing on low-cost mopeds, has steadily climbed the value chain, first into entry-level commuter motorbikes in the late 90s and early 2000s, and then into the mid segment — tracking the evolution of the Indian motorcycle industry.

Demand in the Indian market too has shifted more and more towards the mid and premium segments, with rising income and aspiration levels.

Like its home-grown competitor Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor has also leveraged the global opportunity and today gets about 45% of its sales from overseas markets such as Latin America and Africa.

The appointment of the global veteran, who runs Motonium Design, is a sign of the priority that the company accords to further evolution, as well as to the electric vehicle opportunity.

Mission R

“Tim has always crafted modern and inspiring designs during his career as a designer and a leader of global teams,” said KN Radhakrishnan, Director & CEO, TVS Motor Company.

“He has been a thought leader in the areas of electric motorcycling and future mobility solutions. I am confident that Tim will greatly enhance our ability to bring our design philosophy to the next generation of vehicles.

“His vast experience will advance TVS Motor Company’s long-standing design focus to meet the rapidly changing needs of our esteemed customers in this dynamic new era.”

On his part, Prentice said he was excited to be part of TVS’ design team.

“Over the years, I have witnessed a dynamic shift in TVS Motor products’ mobility design as they imbibe futuristic innovations while keeping customer experience at the centre of the offering,” he said.