Continuing to be India’s bestselling two-wheeler in September, the Honda Activa topped all domestic sales charts for H1 FY2017-18 (April-September 2017). The country’s most popular scooter brand, which has singlehandedly driven the domestic scooter market to new heights over the past 15 years, has outsold its arch-rival and conventional bestselling two-wheeler brand – Hero Splendor – yet again in September, now for each month in H1 FY2018.
For H1 FY2018, scooters raked in total domestic sales of 3,577,421 units, thus marking a YoY growth of 17.26 percent. Motorcycles, on the other hand, reported sales of 6,508,952 units during the same period, up by 7.71 percent YoY. Mopeds, at 420,935 units, were down by 5.63 percent YoY.
However, it is interesting to note that the growing scooter market’s size, which stood at 50.49 percent of the domestic motorcycle sales and 32 percent of the overall two-wheeler market in India in H1 FY2017, now stands at 55 percent of the motorcycle market and 34 percent of the overall two-wheeler sales in H1 FY2018.
The Honda Activa, which leads this growth from the front, has reportedly sold 322,922 units in September 2017 (up 7.09 percent YoY) and 1,781,063 units in H1 2018 (up 15.92 percent YoY). The second bestselling two-wheeler brand, Hero Splendor sold 248,293 units in September 2017 (down 2.52 percent YoY) and 1,394,798 units in H1 FY2018 (up 5.88 percent YoY).
It can be projected that the Honda Activa may have sold two million units in the domestic market in the first seven months of FY2018 alone.
Sales gap between Activa and Splendor widens
These numbers, which highlight the Honda Activa’s fast-paced growth despite its comparatively higher base (than the Hero Splendor), also paint a picture of the widening gap between the two most popular two-wheeler brands. It can be extrapolated that the Honda Activa might outsell the Hero Splendor by a larger scale by end-FY2018, all thanks to its higher cumulative growth.
However, it is extremely difficult for rivals to break into the Hero MotoCorp’s stronghold, which is the motorcycle market. It is the only player that consistently manages four brands – Splendor, HF Deluxe, Passion and Glamour – all motorcycle families – to appear in the Top 10 two-wheelers’ list each month.
The HF Deluxe continues to be the third-largest selling two-wheeler brand in September with sales of 174,743 units (up 32.51 percent YoY). It has sold 931,046 units in H1 FY2018, up an impressive 33.65 percent YoY. This also means that it would have achieved the one million sales mark in October – in the first seven months of FY2018 alone.
Hero’s Passion motorcycle brand ranks fourth with sales of 98,543 units, up 6.67 percent YoY. Hero Passion has sold 517,381 units in H1 FY2018 recording a flat growth of 2.11 percent YoY. The slowed growth of this brand is one pain point in Hero’s strong motorcycle portfolio and Autocar Professional learns that the company has plans of adding new models / variants to it to boost sales.
TVS Motor’s bestseller – the 110cc Jupiter scooter – is now the fifth highest selling two-wheeler in the domestic market. It sold 93,573 units in September – understood to be its highest-ever monthly sales. The consistently growing scooter from TVS has seen an impressive YoY growth of 41.45 percent. It has sold 413,722 units in H1 FY2018 as against sales of 2,92,496 units in H1 FY2017.
While Honda’s 125cc motorcycle champion CB Shine is the sixth top-selling two-wheeler with sales of 87,547 units in September, TVS Motor’s long-serving moped – the XL Super – is seventh largest selling two-wheeler (Sept: 84,934 units; up 8.33 percent YoY).
Honda CB Shine’s arch-rival – the 125cc Hero Glamour – is India’s eighth bestselling two-wheeler. It sold 84,634 units in September, up 4.82 percent YoY.
Bajaj Auto’s Pulsar and CT100 occupy the last two slots with the 100cc mass commuter brand at the tenth position. The Pulsar umbrella sold 84,095 units in September, up 23.66 percent YoY. According to the company management, the new additions in the Pulsar NS series (Pulsar NS 160, NS 200 ABS) have contributed well to the Pulsar topline in Q2 FY2018.
The CT100, on the other hand, has benefited from the new electric-start variant, which has given a new thrust to its market demand. It sold 78,493 units in September, up by an impressive 38.55 percent YoY.
Bajaj Auto has lined up new variants for its Avenger and V portfolios too. These new additions, scheduled in H2 FY2018, are aimed at further boosting sales. October 2017, the seventh month of this fiscal, which had Dhanteras and Diwali, is expected to report some exciting numbers soon.