The Honda Activa, India's best-selling scooter and also currently best-selling two-wheeler, has sold nearly 1.4 million units (1,393,256 units) in the April to September 2019 period. This number, in the first six months of the ongoing fiscal year, translates into 7,740 units every single day!
Sales of the Activa, which popularised gearless scooters in the country, contribute 14% to the domestic two-wheeler industry. This also means if its sales are impacted, as they are during the ongoing slowdown in the scooter market, then overall industry growth takes a hit.
For the April-September 2019 period, the sales of 13,93,256 Activas are down a sizeable 22% year on year (H1 FY2019: 17,86,687), which is also reflected in the scooter segment's H1 sales being down by 16.60% YoY, what with the Activa being the overwhelming market leader.
Once the darling of the two-wheeler world, the scooter segment has felt the hammer of the economic slowdown, particularly in rural India. In September 2019, total scooter sales fell by 16.60% to 555,829 units and in the April-September period, overall numbers were down similarly by 17% to 3,177,433 units.
The Honda Activa is to the scooter market what Maruti is to the passenger vehicle market: a mover and shaker. While the Activa remains the unassailable scooter market leader, its sales have slowed over the past year. The Activa is India's No. 1 two-wheeler and scooter in September with sales of 248,939 units. This performance is better than August's 234,279, July's 243,605 or June's 236,739, which means month on month, the Activa numbers are going up, albeit marginally. A clutch of new products is helping.
In end-May, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India launched the Activa 5G Limited Edition, with prices starting at Rs 55,032 (for the Activa 5G Limited Edition STD) and going up to Rs 56,897 for the Activa 5G Limited Edition DLX). HMSI says this model, which gets 10 premium-style additions and two new striking dual-colour options, is seeing strong demand from all regions. HMSI says it has "more than doubled its production plan to meet the overwhelming demand."
More recently, in mid-September, Honda launched the BS VI Activa 125 – the new Activa 125. its first BS VI-compliant two-wheeler – in three variants – Standard, Alloy and Deluxe. The Standard is priced at Rs 67,490, while Alloy and Deluxe cost Rs 70,990 and Rs 74,490, respectively (all prices, ex-showroom Delhi). It is powered by a 124cc engine which develops 8.1hp, a slight drop from the 8.52hp on the outgoing model. However, while the BS IV model uses a carburetted engine, the one on the new BS VI Activa is fuel injected.