Honda 2-Wheelers India registers 60 million sales, Activa accounts for 53 percent

Twenty-three years after it entered the Indian market, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India surpasses cumulative sales of 60 million units. The big-number driver for the company continues to be its first product, the Activa which remains India’s best-selling scooter by far.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 29 Mar 2024 Views icon6237 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Honda 2-Wheelers India registers 60 million sales, Activa accounts for 53 percent

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), which is in its 23rd year of manufacturing two-wheelers in India, has announced a major sales milestone of achieving 60 million or six crore sales in the domestic market. And the Activa scooter, which was Honda’s vehicle of entry in India’s two-wheeler market in 2001, has had a critical role to play in helping the Japanese company achieve the big number. Not only did it help establish the Honda brand but continues to have a stranglehold on the scooter market for nearly two decades. 

The Activa, which remains India’s best-selling scooter by a huge margin, accounts for the bulk of HMSI’s cumulative 60 million sales of both scooters and motorcycles since CY2001. In June 2023, the company announced that the Activa surpassed 30 million sales in India. Considering that in the first 11 months of FY2024, the Activa brand has sold an estimated 2.09 million units and accounts for 50.30% of HMSI’s total two-wheeler sales of 41,72,045 between April 2023 and February 2024, it can be surmised that the Activa’s share of HMSI’s total 60 million two-wheeler sales to date is around 53 percent and counting.

A number-crunching exercise of the past 15-year wholesales reveals how HMSI has doubled its market share. From a 12.72% share in FY2010 (11,92,063 units of total 93,70,951 two-wheelers sold in India), HMSI’s share at present is 25.30% (41,72,045 units of total 1,64,86,786 units).

Given the sheer volume of the Activa’s sales which impact both HMSI’s and India Two-Wheeler Inc's fortunes, HMSI’s growth has been in tandem with that of the overall industry.

While Honda’s two-wheeler arm in India took all of 11 years to register the first 10 million sales, surging demand, particularly for the Activa and the Shine commuter motorcycle, over the next three years saw the 20 million mark being surpassed in 2015. The 30-million milestone was recorded in April 2017 – 16 years after HMSI began retailing its products.

What’s notable is that the next 30 million units and the run to the 60-million milestone, achieved in March 2024, took a little less than seven years and reflects the pace of demand. This, despite FY2020 and FY2021 being impacted by the Covid pandemic and resultant lockdowns and the continuing slowdown in FY2022. Nevertheless, since then the tide has turned and HMSI has recorded strong growth in the past two fiscals – 16% in FY2023 (4 million units) and FY2024 (till February ’24: 4.17 million units).

From a 12.72% share in FY2010, HMSI’s share at present is 25.30% and the popular Activa brand of scooters has played a key role in that growth. 

The comprehensive data table above reveals that of the 232 million two-wheelers sold in India since FY2010 till end-February 2024, HMSI accounts for 5,57,14,990 units (55.71 million units) or 24% of that, clearly establishing its status in the market. Honda recorded its best-ever fiscal sales in FY2018 – 5.77 million units, up 22% – which also meant that its contribution to India Two-Wheeler Inc was its highest at 28.60 percent. Not surprisingly, the Activa also registered its best-ever sales in FY2018 – 3.15 million units, accounting for 54% of HMSI’s total two-wheeler sales.

Commenting on the 60-million units milestone, Tsutsumu Otani, MD, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said: “Achieving this sales milestone is a testament to the trust and confidence that Indian consumers have placed in brand Honda. We are immensely proud of this accomplishment and as we look ahead, we remain dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our customers and contributing positively to the growth & development of the Indian two-wheeler industry."

Honda's diverse portfolio on two wheels
The Activa’s popularity with scooter buyers may seem to dwarf Honda’s market presence but the fact is that the company has a diverse product portfolio – from the 100cc Shine motorcycle to the flagship 1800cc Gold Wing Tour. Like the Activa in scooters, the Honda Shine is the best-selling brand of motorcycles for the company.

The company’s Red Wing product line-up includes four scooter models (Activa and Dio in 110cc scooters, Activa 125 and Dio 125 in 125cc scooters) and in the motorcycle category nine models across 100-110cc (Shine 100, CD 110 Dream Deluxe and Livo), 125cc (Shine 125 and SP125), 160cc (Unicorn and SP160) and 180-200cc (Hornet 2.0 and CB200X) segments along with other special edition models.

HMSI’s premium motorcycle retail format is led by the BigWing Topline for entire premium motorcycle range (300cc - 1800cc) in top metros and BigWing – exclusively for mid-size motorcycle segment (300cc – 500cc). Its range of motorcycles includes the all-new CB350, H’ness CB350, CB350RS, CB300F, CB300R, NX500, XL750 Transalp, Africa Twin and Gold Wing Tour.  

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