India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp has bagged four ranks in the top five bestselling motorcycles for FY2016-17. The company, which commands a dominating share of 51.32 percent (FY2017) in the overall domestic motorcycle market, has top performing brands in the form of Splendor, HF Deluxe, Passion and Glamour. However, Hero MotoCorp’s market share has marginally reduced from 52.36 percent in FY2015-16 as a result of the decline in sales of its Passion motorcycles.
India’s No. 1 motorcycle remains the Hero Splendor, which has sold 2,550,830 units in FY2017, up 2.61 percent YoY (FY2016: 2,486,065). It is learnt that the latest addition to the Splendor line-up, the 110cc Splendor iSmart 110, launched a year ago, has received a good market response. This model is the company’s first fully in-house designed and developed motorcycle that offered an all-new chassis and 110cc ‘torque-on-demand’ BS IV-compliant engine.
At No. 2, with sales of 1,408,356 units, is the HF Deluxe. This consistent performer notched more sales gains than the Passion brand for Hero MotoCorp in FY2015-16 when it not only outsold the latter but also became the second highest selling motorcycle brand for the company and in the country. In FY2016-17, Hero HF Deluxe sales rose by 22.65 percent YoY.
The Hero Passion, at No. 3 in the Top 10 list, is also the fifth largest selling two-wheeler brand in India for FY2016-17. It sold 870,382 units, down by 23.62 percent YoY. Hero MotoCorp had sold 1,341,424 units and 1,139,576 units of Passion motorcycles in FY2014-15 and FY2015-16 respectively.
Until FY2014-15, the Passion used to be the second largest selling motorcycle in India. While it is commendable that the brand continues to stand out amongst the industry’s top performers despite the absence of the addition of even a single new model in the past five or more years, the Passion brand’s future growth will depend on how Hero MotoCorp works on the future of this ageing mass commuter motorcycle brand.
Honda’s 125cc bestseller, CB Shine is the fourth largest selling motorcycle with sales of 749,026 units in FY2016-17. The CB Shine models have recorded a marginal decline of 6.22 percent YoY, which is attributed to the production adjustments done by the company at its plant(s) to prioritise the tight capacity for scooter assembly operations. HMSI had reported total CB Shine sales of 798,699 units in FY2015-16.
At the fifth position is the 125cc arch-rival of the Honda CB Shine, the Hero Glamour, which has sold 743,798 units in FY2016-17. The Hero Glamour, which sat at the fifth position in FY2015-16 too, has grown by 9.52 percent YoY during the last fiscal. The Hero Glamour had garnered sales of 679,147 units in FY2015-16.
Bajaj Auto’s Pulsar and CT100 brands have bagged the sixth and seventh positions in the top-selling motorcycles list with Pulsar ranking sixth for FY2016-17. While the Pulsar brand garnered sales of 582,912 units (down by 5.73 percent YoY), the CT100 fetched sales of 452,712 units (down by 23.28 percent YoY) in FY2016-17.
Continuing its dream run, Royal Enfield’s bestselling model – Classic 350 has grabbed the eighth slot with sales of 416,693 units for FY2016-17. The RE Classic 350, which garnered total domestic sales of 276,853 units in FY2015-16, has recorded a robust YoY growth of 50.51 percent for the last fiscal. It is interesting to note that the Royal Enfield Classic 350 has sold more than several popular mass and premium commuter motorcycle brands including Bajaj Platina, TVS Apache, Honda Dream and Unicorn series, Yamaha FZ series and others.
The Bajaj Platina has bagged the ninth rank with annual sales of 383,545 units in FY2016-17. The mass commuter brand from the stable of Bajaj Auto has grown by an impressive 39.33 percent YoY. It is noteworthy to mention here that Bajaj Auto, unlike any other two-wheeler manufacturer in India, has worked extensively to clearly differentiate between its commuter models in terms of value proposition and target customers.
In a recent interview with Autocar Professional, Eric Vas, president, motorcycle business, Bajaj Auto, stated “The CT100 is a no-nonsense bike, it comes only in the kick-start variant because it is positioned as the bike with the ultimate value for money. It is a bike as economical and as minimalistic as it can get. It is for a first-time buyer who does not have his personal mode of transportation and who is looking for a low-cost solution. The Platina, on the other hand, makes a very different proposition to the customer in the same category. It is for someone who is looking for the most comfortable motorcycle with best fuel efficiency in the market. It comes only in electric start, it does not have the kick-start variant any longer because then you can’t talk comfort if you are not offering an electric start feature. Its seat, suspension, footpegs and other features are specifically engineered to deliver extra comfort to the rider. Both are 100cc bikes but for very different 100cc customers. This shows that we are very serious about the 100cc segment.”
An Autocar Professional analysis of the entry level motorcycle models highlights that Bajaj Auto has gained foothold in the mass commuter motorcycle segment through clear positioning of its Platina model, which has been a silent and non-glamourous performer for the company in FY2016-17.
TVS Motor’s Apache series is the 10th largest selling motorcycle brand in FY2016-17. TVS Motor has sold 296,354 units under its Apache brand during the last fiscal. The Apache, which is positioned in the 150cc-220cc engine displacement category, recorded a growth of 13.27 percent YoY.
Interestingly, the top seven positions in the top 10 motorcycles list for FY2016 and FY2017 have remained unchanged with same brands holding on to their FY2016 rankings. While the Honda Dream, which was the eighth bestselling motorcycle brand in FY2016, got flushed out of the list in FY2017, it made way for RE Classic 350 and Bajaj Platina to move up by one rank each.