India is scootering away, month on month, and in February, 560,653 scooters (+23.95% YoY growth) were sold by seven manufacturers, comprising Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, India Yamaha Motor, Mahindra Two Wheelers, Piaggio Vehicles, Suzuki Motorcycle India and TVS Motor Co.
These sales constitute 33.25 percent of the total number of two-wheelers sold in the month – 1,685,814 units (+23.77%) including 1,053,230 motorcycles (+26.48%) and 71,931 mopeds (-6.65%). It also means one of every three two-wheelers sold in India is a scooter, which is why OEMs and their think-tanks are working overtime to develop new models, variants and also prepare for electric mobility on two wheels.
The Top 10 best-selling scooters are indicative of the surging consumer demand for specific models. As in January 2018, HMSI sees three of its models – Activa, Dio and Grazia – contributing to over 55 percent of the total scooter sales in February.
The ubiquitous Honda Activa remains head and shoulders above the competition and last month it sold 247,377 units, which makes it 8,834 units a day from over 5,500 dealer outlets across the country. The company has beefed up the Activa range, launching the fifth-generation model at the Auto Expo priced at Rs 52,460 for the STD variant and Rs 54,325 for the DLX variant (both prices, ex-showroom Delhi).
The Activa 5G gets an LED headlamp, two new colours, and a few other updates. The STD variant of the 5G is priced at Rs 1,000 more than the Activa 4G which currently retails for Rs 51,460 (ex-showroom Delhi). The 5G DLX variant comes with a digi-analogue instrument cluster that gets Eco and service-due indicator lights. Both variants also feature a new front hook to carry small bags, and a tougher metal muffler protector. Like its more premium sibling, the Grazia, the Activa 5G also features a seat-opening switch that is positioned next to the ignition.
The consistent No. 2 best-seller is the 110cc TVS Jupiter which went home to 63,534 buyers last month. What the Actva is to Honda, the Jupiter is to TVS. In fact, it is the single biggest contributor to scooter sales for TVS, which has registered sales of more than one million scooters (1,000,801) in India during the first 11 months of the ongoing financial year 2017-18, growing its scooter market share to 16.14 percent. Of this, the Jupiter contributed 745,608, just 4,392 units shy of the 750,000 mark – and 74.50 percent of the company’s scooter sales in the fiscal year till now.
Just about a month ago, the company entered the blossoming 125cc segment with the tech-laden NTorq 125 priced rather aggressively at Rs 58,750 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Between April-January 2018, the company has cumulatively sold 909,746 units and has seen its market share increase from 14.52 percent to 16.13 percent in the scooter segment.
The 110cc Honda Dio sold 41,556 units in February, higher than the 39,397 units in January 2018, maintain the No 3 spot in the Top 10 scooters list.
Suzuki’s Access 125 takes fourth place, up from fifth in January, with sales of 39,061 units, which is a significant number for the model, which has created its image of being one of the most reliable and trusted products in the market. In fact, February sales are the Access' best yet in this fiscal.
The Access 125 has been instrumental is powering Suzuki’s 11-month FY2018 scooter tally to 384,250 units and expanding its market share to 6.20 percent (April-February 2018) from 4.91 units a year earlier. Of this total, the Access 125 has contributed a total of 371,779 units of 96.75 percent, leaving the rest to the Swish.
Hero MotoCorp’s 110cc Maestro takes the middleweight position – No 5 – position with the scooter selling a total of 35,165 units and recording 8.46 percent year-on-year basis, when sales in February 2017 stood at 32,421 units.
Launched in November 2017, the Honda Grazia, another 125cc offering from HMSI, has not taken much time to make its way into the Top 10 list, riding straight in November 2017. HMSI has positioned the Grazia as a premium, feature-rich product, and liked by many for its overall styling and comfort. The Grazia sold 23,620 units in February to rank No 6, similar to January and has cumulatively sold over 75,000 units since launch.
Taking No. 7 and No. 8 positions are the Hero siblings, the 100cc Pleasure and 110cc Duet with sales of 18,065 and 16,893 units respectively.
The Yamaha Fascino takes the No. 9 position, with sales of 12,908 units, followed by sibling Ray which sold 12,777 units.
Now with March coming to an end, it will be interesting to see how much headway scooters have made into the two-wheeler market this fiscal and how they are also eating into the motorcycle market. Stay tuned to Autocar Professional for incisive industry analysis and updates.
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