The chips are currently down for the overall Indian automobile industry, and the two-wheeler segment, which in FY2019 sold over 21 million units, is feeling the heat of slowing sales. In May 2019, OEMs despatched a total of 1,726,206 units (-6.73%).
The Hero Splendor commuter motorcycle, whose iSmart variant recently became the country’s first BS VI-certified two-wheeler, continues to rule the Top 10 two-wheeler chart for the second month in a row. Not only has the Splendor kept arch rival Honda Activa scooter at bay but it has extended its sales/dispatch lead.
Smarting from its loss by only 2,716 units to the Activa in FY2019, in April 2019 the Splendor took the crown with sales of 223,532 units, compared to the Activa’s 210,961 units – a difference of 12,571 units. In May 2019, the Hero Splendor family has altogether sold a total of 267,450 units compared to the Activa’s 218,734 units – a difference of 48,716 units. What this means is that the rate of growth is increasing for the Splendor and falling for the Activa, which takes second place in May 2019. Expect Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India to take swift action in the coming months to arrest the downturn. The company is aggressively readying up for the BS VI era and recently revealed its BS VI-compliant fuel-injected Activa 125.
The Hero HF Deluxe maintains its No. 3 position with 183,255 units, up from the 182,029 units it sold in April 2019, indicating that the commuter bike is growing sales month on month, despite an overall downturn in the market. With the monsoon gathering pace across the country, expect to see the HF Deluxe recording stronger numbers in the coming months across rural and semi-urban markets and in urban India too.
At No. 4 is the Honda CB Shine with sales of 92,069 units in May 2019. Demand seems to be growing for this motorcycle and in a bid to increase sales, HMSI recently launched the CB Shine Limited Edition at Rs 59,083 for the drum brake model and Rs 63,743 for the disc brake variant.
Bajaj Auto has been on a roll both in the domestic and export markets. In May 2019, the company sold a total of 205,721 units (+6.84%), with demand coming from the Pulsar family of sport bikes and the CT100 and Platina commuters. The 10-strong Pulsar range contributed 86,145 units to Bajaj’s cumulative numbers in May 2019 – comprising 64,805 Pulsar 150s, 14,229 Pulsar 180s and 200s, and 7,111 Pulsar 220 – and account for a 41.87 percent share of total sales. Bajaj Auto, which was the biggest market share gainer in FY2019, will be looking to up the ante in the coming months.
Moving up from its ninth position in April 2019 (59,138 units) to No. 6 in May, the Hero Passion motorcycle sold 69,663 units. This motorcycle too is seeing an uptick in demand month on month. The Passion has the potential to do better considering this motorcycle used to sell over 100,000 units not very long ago.
At No. 8 is the Passion’s sibling, the Hero Glamour with 69,379 units. The 124.7cc motorcycle was once a strong buy in the market but is in danger of losing its glamour. Expect Hero MotoCorp to come up with a new strategy designed to re-introduce some glamour into this executive commuter.
The ninth position is taken up by the TVS Jupiter, the only other scooter in this list with 56,797 units, slightly better than the 54,984 units it sold in April 2019. The 110cc Jupiter continues to be a strong contributor to TVS Motor’s monthly sales performance. In FY2019, it was a strong contributor to sales and helped the company expand its scooter market share to 18.52 percent.
Closing the Top 10 best-sellers' list is the toughie on two wheels which refuses to bow out in an era of fast-paced motoring: the TVS XL Super moped. This regular in the Top 10 best-sellers' list sold 52,109 units in May 2019. A month ago, TVS Motor Co, the sole moped maker in India confirmed to Autocar Professional that it will make its mopeds BS VI compliant. Not surprising, when one considers that the company has sold a total of 7.65 million mopeds in India over a decade!
Read more: India’s Top 10 PVs in May 2019
Top 5 Utility Vehicles in May 2019