For those who seek that wind-in-the-hair experience and a seat-of-the-pants opinion, a motorcycle is what gives them just that. Whether it is point A-to-point-B commuting, zipping across town with your favourite friend as a pillion or just leaving all the others standing when the traffic lights turn green, a motorcycle is the set of wheels two-wheeler aficionados bet on. And there are a large number of them in the world’s largest motorised two-wheeler market – India. Here’s looking at the Top 10 best-selling motorcycles in FY2020 – four Hero bikes, three Bajajs and a Honda, Royal Enfield and TVS product. Come along for the number-crunching ride.
No. 1 | Hero Splendor – 26,32,800 units
When a motorcycle sells all of 2.6 million units in a year, you know it is a many-splendored product for the manufacturer. Yes, for Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, the Splendor is its benchmark mass-market product. In FY2020, the Splendor went home to as many as 26,32,800 new owners, which constitutes monthly average sales of 219,400 units or 7,213 units every day. That also makes it the world’s best-selling motorcycle brand too.
The Indian motorcycle industry has been in the throes of a slowdown for the past 20 months and FY2020’s total sales of 1,12,14,640 units were down 17.53% year on year (FY2019: 1,35,98,190). To put things into perspective, the Hero Splendor (Splendor+ , iSmart and Super Splendor) accounted for 23.47% of total motorcycle sales in India. This, even though the best-selling Hero product on two wheels was 12.40% down on sales last fiscal (FY2019: 30,05,618). Priced from Rs 60,350 onwards, the Splendor remains the undisputed king of motorcycle sales. The Hero Splendor+ topped the list with 20,63,148 units sold.
No. 2 | Hero HF Deluxe – 20,50,974 units
India’s No. 2 best-selling motorcycle is another Hero product: the HF Deluxe which sold a total of 20,50,974 units last fiscal. Priced from Rs 56,675 onwards, like the Splendor, this bike too saw a decline in sales when compared to FY2019 but the fall was not as substantial. In FY2020, HF Deluxe sales dropped by just 5.4 percent (from 21,68,740) in comparison to FY2019. In a low year for the economy in general, the HF Deluxe’s more affordable price seems to have made all the difference. Will it continue in this mode in FY2021 which looks to be a difficult year as well?
No. 3 |Honda CB Shine – 948,384 units
With 948,384 units sold in FY2020 and just 51,616 units short of a million, the Honda CB Shine and CB Shine SP models collectively sit a distant third on the list. On the upside, sales fell by just 4.2 percent, which is quite impressive in comparison to what some other models witnessed in a difficult FY2020. What’s worth noting is that in March 2020, the CB Shine sold 86,633 units – a massive 190 percent increase from the 29,827 units it sold in March 2019. A huge contributing factor is likely the introduction of the BS 6-compliant SP 125 and CB Shine variants. Priced from Rs 67,857 upwards, the CB Shine has it act cut out in FY2021. Will it help bring more shine to Honda’s sales?
No. 4 |Bajaj Pulsar – 856,026 units
The Bajaj Pulsar family of rev-happy motorcycles, arguably one of the largest in India, is fourth on this Top list, retaining the position it held in FY2019. It sold a total of 856,026 units, down 7.29% on the 923,359 units it sold in FY2019.
Total: 856,026 units
The Bajaj Pulsar 150, which sold 504,010 units in FY2020, is by far India’s bestselling 150cc motorcycle. Priced from Rs 90,003 upwards, it was the biggest contributor to the company’s sales in FY2020, indicating demand remains strong for the Pulsar 150 Neon, Pulsar 150 as well as the Pulsar 150 Twin Disc.
The Pulsar models in the 150cc to 200cc category – Pulsar 180F, 160NS, 200NS and RS 200 – sold a combined total of 118,022 units – a 19.6 percent drop from the 146,940 units in FY2019. This, despite the addition of a new 180F to the Pulsar range, is an indication of how sales have suffered over FY2019. A silver lining comes in the form of export numbers that have remained steady, with 120,282 units shipped in FY2020, compared to an almost identical 120,741 export units in FY2019.
The 220F sold 74,209 units. Priced at Rs 117,000 upwards, this model hasn’t received a substantial update in a long time but continues to be popular among the masses. However, sales did drop in comparison to FY2019 – down by 10 percent from the 82,511 units sold in FY2019. Exports, on the other hand, rose by a substantial 68 percent – up from 12,599 units in FY2019 to 21,284 units in FY2020.
No. 5 | Hero Glamour – 602,623 units
At No. 5 is the Hero Glamour with 602,623 units sold in FY2020, down a sizeable 20.1 percent drop. Sales in the last month of the fiscal year took a drastic blow, as well, falling by a huge 77 percent in comparison to March 2019. This could also be down to supply issues since the BS6 version came out in February 2020. The BS6-compliant iteration of the Glamour 125 is an all-new model that along with a new engine and chassis also gets a 5-speed gearbox. This year’s sales charts will reveal how the market has responded to Hero’s efforts with the Glamour, which has a sticker price of Rs 69,750.
No. 6 | Bajaj Platina – 578,237 units
The Bajaj Platina with 578,237 units sold in FY2020 saw a 7.7 percent fall in sales in comparison to the 626,781 units sold in FY2019. The Platina, one of Bajaj Auto’s high-selling products, has received a modest price hike due to the BS6 upgrade. While the Platina KS100 Alloy sees its tag rise by Rs 1,498 to Rs 49,261, the Platina 110 H-Gear is priced at Rs 62,899, which is Rs 2,349 dearer than the BS4 model.
No 7 | Hero Passion – 502,264 units
This Hero product remains in the Top 10, taking seventh place but dropping two ranks over FY2019. The reason is not difficult to know why: a sharp 45% sales decline year on year. In February this year, Hero launched the BS6-compliant Passion Pro for Rs 64,990. Available in two variants – Self-drum alloy and Self-disc alloy – the new commuter bike’s prices go up to Rs 67,190. Compared to the outgoing Passion Pro, prices have increased by Rs 6,740 for the entry-level variant and by Rs 6,290 for the top-spec disc brake-equipped version.
One of the major reasons for this hike in price is the new BS6-compliant engine. The 113.2cc, single-cylinder engine comes with fuel-injection, which has seen outputs change to 9.15hp at 7,500rpm and 9.79Nm of torque at 5,000rpm. Like other Hero bikes, the Passion Pro comes with the brand’s idle start-stop system to maximise fuel efficiency, with the brand claiming a 5 percent increase in mileage.
Will the sizeable BS6-related price increase impact sales numbers this year or will Passion-ate commuter motorcycle buyers accept the new sticker tag?
No. 8 | Bajaj CT100 – 480,204 units
The Bajaj CT100 is India’s most affordable motorcycle, yes even with BS6 upgrade. On January 28, 2020, Bajaj launched the BS6-compliant versions of the 100cc CT. The Bajaj CT100 now starts at Rs 40,794, up from the earlier version's Rs 33,402.
The upgrade to BS6 means the CT100 now uses a fuel-injection system and get revised exhaust systems. Components such as the engine casing, chain cover, and fork on the BS6 CT100 are now finished in black and not silver like the BS4 model. Other than that, the CT100 remains largely unchanged. The CT 100 represents the genius of the affordable, yet dependable engineering that India specialises in.
In FY2020, the CT100 sold a total of 480,204 units, down 335% year on year (FY2019: 742,199), a performance which also saw it drop one position to eighth place. Will this frugal commuter motorcycle give Bajaj Auto reason to whistle (CT bajao) in FY2020?
No. 9 | Royal Enfield Classic 350
Royal Enfield thumps into the Top 10 list at No. 9 position with the Classic 350's count of 398,093 units, retaining its ninth spot of FY2019 but down 24% year on year (FY2019: 526,442). This is the Chennai-based manufacturer’s most popular offering and was updated to meet BS6 emission norms quite early on; both, single-channel and dual-channel ABS variants went up by around Rs 11,000, back in January. With the new price hike of around Rs 3,000, the single-channel ABS variant costs Rs 160,000, while the dual-channel variant ranges from Rs 168,000 to Rs 184,000, depending on the colour scheme.
No. 10 | TVS Apache – 365,232 units
The sole TVS in the bestsellers list is the Apache family of bikes. It wraps up the Top 10 list with a tally of 365,232 units, down 21.50% YoY (FY2019: 465,322), clearly indicating that there is potential to achieve a lot more. The Apache has always seemed like a great value-for-money offering and is one of the most complete motorcycles in India today. It should do much better this year.
Put all the sales numbers of these Top 10 motorcycles together – 94,14,8337 units – and it falls 15.37% below the FY2019 tally of 1,11,22,142 units. Blame that on the prolonged economic slowdown, shift to BS6 and its related higher pricing and poor consumer sentiment. FY2021 has begun with April as a total blank, due to the countrywide lockdown, and May numbers being tepid. Will the remaining 10 months off the fiscal have a different story to tell. The answer is blowing in the wind. . .
(With inputs from Vishal Venugopal)
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