Two-wheeler OEMs clock over 9 percent growth in May 2018

by Amit Panday 04 Jun 2018


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The top six two-wheeler manufacturers have reported their monthly sale performance for May 2018. The compiled data indicates that these six – Hero MotoCorp, Honda, TVS Motor, Bajaj Auto, Royal Enfield and Suzuki Motorcycle – have sold a total of 17,89,888 units last month, up 9.21 percent YoY.

This clearly underlines that the market has been able to sustain its demand momentum in May 2018. The advent of the monsoon in the southern parts of India and a good monsoon forecast appears to have the industry keenly banking upon further growth in local demand for two-wheelers.

Hero MotoCorp and Suzuki Motorcycles have recorded one of their best-ever monthly performances in May 2018. Meanwhile, Bajaj Auto has registered decent YoY growth too. All the six OEMs have clocked positive growth for the month with Honda recording a YoY decline in its scooter sales, a rare phenomenon.

Recording one of the best sales performances in recent times, Hero MotoCorp has sold 706,365 units in May 2018 (including exports), up 11 percent year-on-year (May 2017: 633,884).

India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer plans to roll out four premium products during this fiscal including two 200cc motorcycles and two 125cc scooter models. According to the company release, it plans to launch the Xtreme 200R in Q2 FY2018-19.

Hero MotoCorp remains upbeat about the market demand this year, thanks to the good monsoon forecast. “With the forecast of a good monsoon this year, there is expectation of an uptick in market demand in the later part of the year, leading to a sustained momentum across the country,” quotes the company release.

Meanwhile, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has reported domestic sales of 519,072 units in May 2018, up 1.70 percent YoY (May 2017: 510,381). This flat growth can be attributed to a YoY decline in the sales of scooters for Honda.

Honda, which has not disclosed the split in its domestic sales of scooters and motorcycles, has reported total scooter sales of 342,976 units (down by 1.36 percent YoY) and total motorcycle sales of 208,625 units (up 10.19 percent YoY). Both the numbers include the export shipments as well as the domestic sales.

Speaking on Honda’s two-month (April-May) performance in FY2019 and the months ahead, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice-president - Sales and Marketing, HMSI said, “Honda continues its upward sales momentum in FY2019. In a period of just 2 months (April-May’18), more than 100,000 additional customers have joined the Honda family as compared to the same period last year.”

The company, which has recently expanded its regional footprint in Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) and Rajkot (Gujarat) with new zonal offices, had rolled out the new 2018 edition of its 110cc scooter Dio. The new Dio facelift, which comes with a starting price tag of Rs 51,292 (ex-showroom, Delhi), is squarely aimed at boosting its domestic demand specially at a time when summer vacations are getting over and college resume classes. The Dio scooter is a popular model among the college-going students and youngsters.

On the export side, while the company has already launched its 125cc scooter Grazia in Nepal and Sri Lanka, it has also confirmed its plans of exporting the new 160cc X-Blade to the two markets.

TVS Motor Company has reported domestic sales of 246,231 units in May 2018, up 2.4 percent YoY. It had sold 240,527 units in the domestic market in May last year. It sold total of 95,879 scooters last month (up 11.9 percent YoY; May 2017: 85,681 units). On the other hand, TVS Motor sold 126,711 motorcycles in May 2018 (up 7.4 percent YoY; May 2017: 118,014 units). Both numbers include export shipments.

On the overall front, the company’s two-wheeler performance registered growth of 8.2 percent with sales increasing from 275,426 units in May 2017 to 298,135 units in May 2018.

Pune-based Bajaj Auto has reported domestic motorcycle sales of 192,543 units, up 23 percent YoY, in May 2018. It had sold 156,523 units in May last year. The company continues to bank on the recent launches under its Discover brand. Among other performers is its flagship Pulsar brand along with its CT100 and Platina commuter umbrellas. The sales under its Avenger and V brands have now plateaued. Autocar Professional learns that the company is aggressively focusing on its alliance with UK’s Triumph Motorcycles currently.

Royal Enfield has reported domestic sales of 72,510 units in May 2018, thereby recording growth of 24 percent YoY. It had sold 58,647 units in May last year. The company has recently launched its limited edition Classic 500 Pegasus model in the UK and in India. The company aims to manufacture and sell only 1,000 units of its Pegasus model, which is inspired by the Royal Enfield motorcycles made during the World War II era in the UK.

Recording one of its best-ever monthly performances in the domestic market, Suzuki Motorcycle India has clocked sales of 53,167 units in May 2018, up 36.59 percent YoY. The company had sold 38,923 units in May 2017. The company has recently launched its popular Gixxer motorcycle featuring an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with a starting price of Rs 87,250 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Suzuki has started dispatching the ABS variant to its retail showrooms in May.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, EVP, Suzuki Motorcycle India said, “Continuing the positive growth momentum and recording highest-ever sale numbers for consecutive months is a reflection of customer’s trust in our two-wheelers. Pursuing an aggressive target of 700,000 units for FY2019, we are buoyed by this encouraging start, having surpassed the 100,000 mark within the first two months itself. We are keen to continue this vigour in the coming months as well. With exciting product updates in terms of technology and performance, like the Gixxer ABS, we are committed to constantly improve on the value-proposition we offer to our customers as well.”

With a bountiful monsoon expected, consumer sentiment on the upswing and a rash of new models in the new product factory across OEMs, expect the two-wheeler industry to record even better numbers in the coming months.

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