India's two-wheeler continues to fire on all cylinders. With over 1.8 million units (1,817,077) sold in July 2018 (+8.17%) and nearly 7.5 million units (7,494,420) in April-July 2018 (+13.94%), what's not to like? Little wonder global icons on two wheels like Harley-Davidson and Benelli are actively plotting new growth strategies for a renewed assault on the booming Indian market.
In the ongoing battle to be top dog, the Hero Splendor and the Honda Activa have been trading blows for a long time now. They fared as per expectations in July 2018. While the Honda Activa reported sales of 286,380 units (down 2.15 percent YoY), the Hero Splendor sold 260,865 units last month (up 17.26 percent YoY).
Bajaj CT 100 sees sales accelerate
While the Honda Activa has outsold the Hero Splendor with about 26,000 units (July 2018 being the second month in the row) as the scooter brand finds stability in demand over its arch-rival (the motorcycle brand), the big news is that the Bajaj CT 100 commuter motorcycle has now become the sixth largest selling two-wheeler brand.
Driven by the discounts offered by the Pune-based manufacturer, a retail strategy implemented by Bajaj Auto to win market share in the entry-level motorcycle market, the CT 100 has moved up to the sixth slot with sales of 76,776 units in July 2018. The YoY growth in Bajaj CT July sales stands at a substantial 87.61 percent (July 2017: 40,923). The CT 100, also the most affordable variants from the stable of Bajaj Auto, is now India’s fourth largest selling motorcycle brand in the 100cc commuter category, only behind Hero’s Splendor, HF Deluxe and Passion brands.
The price war, via discounting the CT 100, is expected to benefit Bajaj Auto in the near term, say market analysts, who estimate that the CT 100 will pull in the potential entry-level customers of Hero MotoCorp, Honda and TVS Motor Company. According to Bajaj Auto’s website, the price range for CT 100 starts at Rs 30,714 (ex-showroom, Delhi), thus making it the most affordable 100cc motorcycle in the market.
In contrast, Hero MotoCorp’s website lists that the price range of the Hero HF Deluxe starts from Rs 43,000 and the Splendor Plus starts from Rs 48,400 (both prices are ex-showroom, Delhi). Notably, the most affordable model from Hero’s stable is the HF Dawn, which according to the company is available only for the Orissa state, comes with a price tag of Rs 37,625 (ex-showroom, Bhubaneshwar).
On the other hand, the XL 100 Comfort, most affordable moped from TVS Motor Company costs Rs 31,534 (ex-showroom, central Delhi). Further, the 100cc TVS Sport starts with a price range of Rs 39,963 (ex-showroom, central Delhi), both prices drawn from the company website.
A quick price comparison clearly underlines how the Bajaj CT 100 is undercutting its rivals in the domestic market and thereby winning customers. Bajaj Auto aims to implement this aggressive pricing strategy on its motorcycles for the next two-three years.
At No. 3 is the Hero HF Deluxe, which sold 183,694 units thereby growing 17.82 percent YoY. Hero’s Passion brand takes fourth place with sales of 88,354 units, up 10.75 percent YoY.
They are followed by Honda’s bestselling motorcycle in the 125cc category, the CB Shine, which reported sales of 86,160 units in July. While it ranks as the fifth largest selling two-wheeler brand last month, it grew by 5.45 percent YoY.
The Honda CB Shine’s rival, Hero Glamour is the No. 7 in the Top 10 list with sales of 74,553 units, down 3.91 percent YoY. At No.8 is the TVS XL Super which garnered sales of 67,106 units, up by 10.76 percent YoY. The XL Super is the largest selling two-wheeler from the stable of TVS Motor Company.
TVS Motor’s popular 110cc scooter brand Jupiter has made it again in the Top 10 two-wheelers’ list. The Jupiter comes in ninth with sales of 66,632 units, up 6.26 percent YoY.
Rounding off the best-sellers' list for the month is the Bajaj Pulsar brand with sales of 63,388 units in July. While it grew by 11.30 percent YoY, the company plans to further grow the Pulsar sales under its new market strategy. Bajaj Auto has added new variants to its Pulsar line up, prominently the Classic variant at the lower end to make the brand more accessible and a twin-disc variant in its 150cc topline.
It would be interesting to see how the most popular two-wheeler brands will fare as the monsoons will soon culminate into the festive season.
Also read: Top 10 Passenger Vehicles in July 2018
Top 5 Utility Vehicles in July 2018