The speedy growth of the 125cc scooter market in India has been drawing the attention of most two-wheeler OEMs in the country and market leader Hero MotoCorp, also the world’s largest two-wheeler maker, has today launched its new flagship scooter – the Destini 125 scooter. While the Destini 125 LX costs Rs 54,650, the Destini VX costs Rs 57,500 (ex-showroom Delhi).
The Destini 125, first unveiled as the Duet 125 at the Auto Expo in February, has been positioned as a family scooter and gets styling elements as seen on the Duet 110. The Destini 125, which aims at helping Hero get a wheel and more in the fast-growing 125cc scooter segment, also becomes India’s first scooter in India to feature an idle start-stop-system based on Hero's i3S (Idle-stop-start system) technology. Hero has revealed a 51.5 kpl ARAI-tested figure for the Destini.
Other features on the new 125cc scooter include a semi-digital instrument console, external fuel filler cap, side stand indicator, service indicator and a pass light switch. Mobile charger is an optional extra and it features a boot lamp for better convenience.
Powering the scooter is a 125cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine producing 8.7hp and 10.2Nm of peak torque. Suspension duties are handled by a telescopic front fork and a monoshock unit at the back. The 10-inch alloy wheels on both ends are wrapped with tubeless tyres and anchorage is provided by drum brakes, while CBS (combined braking system) is standard. The Destini 125 is the only 125cc scooter on sale to not offer disc brake even as an option.
In terms of competition, the new Destini 125 will rival the Suzuki Access 125, priced at Rs 55,666, and the Honda Activa 125 (drum brake and alloy wheels), which carries a sticker price between Rs 59,921 and Rs 61,858. The 125cc TVS NTorq is priced at Rs 59,712.
The Destini 125 is available in four premium metallic colours – Noble Red, Chestnut Bronze, Panther Black and Pearl Silver White.
Speaking at the launch in New Delhi today, Dr Markus Braunsperger, chief technology officer, Hero MotoCorp, said: "We are introducing the new Destini 125 scooter, within just a few weeks of launching a new premium motorcycle – Xtreme 200R. The Destini 125 is the only scooter in India today to offer i3S technology. In addition to providing a perfect balance of power and style, we have a strong pipeline of new products in both scooter and premium motorcycle segments, which we will launch in the coming months."
Malo Le Masson, Head of Global Product Planning, Hero MotoCorp, said: "The scooter market is witnessing a shift towards products higher engine capacity. The 125cc segment in particular has been expanding at a rapid pace, witnessing a growth of over 75 percent year-to-date this fiscal. The 125cc segment, therefore, is a focus area for us and we are strategically following a multi-brand approach in this space. In keeping with this strategy, we have debuted today in this category with the Destini 125 and will soon introduce another scooter towards the end of the year."
Sanjay Bhan, Head of Sales, Customer Care and Parts Business, Hero MotoCorp, said: " We are confident that the Destini 125 will be a strong enabler for us in growing our presence in this category. Customers in the Delhi-NCR market can buy the Destini 125 from tomorrow onwards. It will be made available in other markets across the country over the next three or four weeks."
Scooters as a two-wheeler industry growth driver
The scooter segment has been a major growth driver for the domestic two-wheeler market over the past few years and all major two-wheeler manufacturers are vying for a healthy share of this growing space.
To get some perspective, SIAM industry data reveals that in FY2012-13 the share of scooters stood at 21.19 percent of the overall domestic two-wheeler market. Barely two years later, it grew to 30.58 percent and 31.86 percent in FY2015-16 and FY2016-17 respectively. And in FY2017-18 it stood at 33.27 percent.
In the ongoing fiscal (April 2018-September 2018), scooters have registered a share of 32.43 percent of the overall two-wheeler volumes in India. This translates into every third two-wheeler sold in India being a scooter. Interestingly, while scooter sales in the past few years have either grown faster or equal to that of motorcycles, the trend as per official data shows the demand for scooters seems to have slowed down.
OEMs gun for growing 125cc scooter market
In February 2018 alone, five OEMs unveiled and launched six new 125cc scooters. TVS Motor and Hero MotoCorp forayed into the category for the first time with the NTorq and Maestro Edge 125 / Duet 125 (only revealed) respectively. Piaggio’s stylish Aprilia brand too launched a 125cc scooter – SR 125 – and unveiled the Storm at the Auto Expo. Meanwhile, Suzuki unveiled the Burgman Street for the India market at the mega event.
India’s largest scooter manufacturer, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) launched its second 125cc model (after the Activa 125) in November 2017 in an attempt to consolidate its premium portfolio. The Honda Grazia, with sales of over 22,500 units in January 2018, entered the Top 10 bestselling scooters list in the domestic market within a month but sales have since slowed down.
Even though scooter sales have moderated in the past couple of months, a few scooter models – both new and old – continue to drive sales mostly in urban India. This includes models such as TVS Motor’s all-new 125cc NTorq, Suzuki’s Access 125 and Honda’s Dio. Hero launching the new Destini 125 at festival time indicates it plans to get off to a strong start. The coming months will reveal the real numbers. Stay tuned.
Also read: Hero MotoCorp to follow its Destini with Maestro Edge 125 soon
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