The two-wheeler segment comprising motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, is seeing happy days. Overall sales in August 2016 saw 26.32 percent year-on-year growth. While motorcycle numbers were up 22.19 percent (1,005,666 units), scooter sales rose 33 percent (567,782 units) and mopeds saw 36 percent YoY growth (75,435 units).
The Honda Activa maintained its position as India’s largest selling two-wheeler for the eighth straight month in August 2016, dominating Hero MotoCorp’s popular Splendor brand of commuter motorcycles.
The calendar year 2016, which now clearly belongs to the Honda Activa, has witnessed the conventional bestseller – Hero Splendor – at No. 2 spot since January. In August, Honda sold a total of 280,790 scooters under its Activa brand, growing by 28.91 percent YoY (August 2015: 217,819).
An increasing preference for scooters as a primary source of commuting by families as well as youngsters, rider-friendly multi-utility features and zero maintenance costs are defining the growth of scooters in motorcycle-dominated India. What’s more, the popularity of scooters is no more limited to the urban and semi-urban markets as they are now increasingly penetrating into semi-rural India and smaller towns.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), which is riding the wave of surging demand for scooters in India, has peaked its production capacity at its scooter-only manufacturing plant in Gujarat in August, nearly 2-3 months before company officials had forecasted. The plant, the world’s largest scooter manufacturing facility which rolls out the Activa and Dio, has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million units from two assembly lines.
The Gujarat plant, which began mass production in February 2016, thus becomes the first such scooter production facility in the world of its scale to hit peak capacity within six months of its commencement of operations. Autocar Professional, which broke the story almost three weeks ago, had clearly highlighted this development as the biggest example of scooterisation in India.
It would be interesting to see how Honda balances demand for its two-wheelers during this festive season. Expect it to, yet again, prioritise scooters over motorcycle demand. This would also translate into a clear advantage for rival companies including Hero MotoCorp, TVS Motor Company, Bajaj Auto and India Yamaha Motor.
Hero marches on
The Hero Splendor recorded sales of 229,061 units, up by 47,068 units or 25.86 percent YoY (August 2015: 181,993). Sales of the latest addition to the Splendor line-up – Splendor iSmart 110 – are likely to pick up in September and October, fetching Hero MotoCorp the much-needed volumes under the brand.
With both Hero and HMSI building up adequate inventories to cater to demand during the upcoming festive season, expect fireworks on the sales numbers front.
Also read: Hero to launch 3 new motorcycles before festive season
Hero’s HF Deluxe remains at third spot with total sales of 127,752 units in August. The model recorded an impressive YoY growth of 56.70 percent. The HF Deluxe, which has overshadowed sales of the Passion brand, is yet another success story for India’s largest two-wheeler maker. In August 2015, the Hero Passion had ranked third while the HF Deluxe was fourth. However, thanks to sales of this model picking up across semi-rural and semi-urban markets, there has been an uptick.
If you thought mopeds were history, think again. TVS Motor’s XL Super continues to fetch impressive numbers. It ranked fifth in the Top 10 list with sales of 75,435 units in August 2016, up by 11,845 units or 18.63 percent YoY.
Hero’s 125cc bestseller, the Glamour registered total sales of 74,693 units last month, thus ranking sixth in the Top 10 list, and notching YoY growth of 33.51 percent for August 2016.
In seventh place is the Honda CB Shine which sold 63,606 units in August 2016, up 15.37 percent YoY. The Glamour’s YoY growth is almost double that of Honda’s CB Shine. HMSI has recently revealed that it has registered cumulative sales of 100,000 units of its newest CB Shine model – the CB Shine SP.
The SP, which is aimed at boosting the CB Shine’s sales and countering the Hero Glamour, has clearly underperformed in the market so far. One of the primary reasons could be Honda’s priority for scooter models, restricting the production of this model from its Bangalore plant. The company, however, plans to boost the production of the CB Shine SP in the coming months.
Crossing the 50,000-unit mark, TVS Motor’s Jupiter scooter ranks eighth in the list. The model registered total sales of 51,728 units in August, growing by 10.97 percent YoY (August 2015: 46,614).
Also read: Top 10 Motorcycles in August 2016
Bajaj Auto’s most popular brand – Pulsar – stands at ninth position with sales of 48,910 units (August 2015: 52,193). The Pulsar is the only brand that saw a YoY decline in the bestselling two-wheelers’ list, recording a YoY drop of 6.29 percent.
Bajaj Auto’s most affordable mass commuter motorcycle, the CT100 garnered sales of 44,599 units to take the 10th spot. The CT 100 models sold 38,412 units in August 2015, up 16.11 percent YoY.
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