Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has aggressively priced its new scooter model, the Cliq which was launched yesterday in Jaipur, in the 100cc-and-above scooter segment.
At Rs 42,499 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Honda Cliq is priced lower than all other scooter models currently on sale in the domestic market. India is an extremely price-sensitive market wherein, as dealers say, customer preferences are heavily based on on-road prices and fuel efficiency statistics, followed by value-for-money features and brand loyalty.
Price-wise, the closest rival to the new 110cc Honda Cliq is the 102cc Hero Pleasure, which is positioned as a scooter for female urban commuters. According to Hero MotoCorp’s website, the Hero Pleasure currently retails for Rs 46,405 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Interestingly, the Hero Pleasure was the most affordable scooter in the 100cc-and-above market in India until now.
Among the rivals with same engine 110cc displacement, TVS Scooty Zest’s Himalayan High series variant comes closest in terms of market price. The Scooty Zest’s retail price starts from Rs 46,938 (ex-showroom, Delhi) which, according to the company, does not include the additional costs of mandatory and optional accessories.
Following the TVS Scooty Zest is the 113cc Suzuki Let’s and the 110cc Hero Duet. While the Suzuki Let’s currently retails for Rs 47,272 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Hero Duet has a price-tag of Rs 48,280 for its LX variant (ex-showroom, Delhi) in the market.
Honda’s price points of its scooters have clearly helped the company maximise demand in the domestic market, which is characterised by the price range of Rs 47,000-Rs 55,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi) as the most fiercely contested space.
The Hero Duet, which has not performed as per the expectations of Hero MotoCorp, faces stiff challenge in terms of pricing from two 110cc Honda scooters (Activa i & Honda Dio) and TVS Motor’s bestselling scooter, the 110cc Jupiter.
The Activa i, positioned at urban female commuters just like the Hero Pleasure in the 100cc category, extends the Activa umbrella to the price points of about Rs 48,000, which has worked well for the company. For the young urban commuters, Honda has priced its Dio at Rs 49,567 (ex-showroom, Delhi) as an unavoidable choice in the marketplace.
The strategic price points of the Honda Activa i and Dio scooters have potentially bagged many customers from its rivals.
The TVS Jupiter and the Honda Activa 4G, the top two-bestselling scooters in India, are priced at Rs 49,966 and Rs 51,172 respectively (both ex-showroom, Delhi).
Nevertheless reading the scooter market only in terms of prices, TVS Motor’s 88cc Scooty Pep+ is the most affordable at its current price point of Rs 39,950 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Priced closely is the Honda’s 110cc Navi, which is its unique version of a scooter-cum-bike for the young rider. The Honda Navi retails for Rs 41,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Honda Cliq’s price point clearly defines the company’s aggression of extending the rapid scooterisation to the semi-urban and rural markets. Further, giving the new scooter several value-for-money features, the company also aims to attract buyers looking for mass commuter motorcycle options in the marketplace.
This can be understood with the following example. Scooters offer smaller set of tyres, which are more exposed to skidding than the relatively bigger tyres of motorcycles. It is understood that Honda has paid attention to this area and has provided with special block pattern tyres for providing extra grip to the riders on patchy surfaces. It claims that this is an industry first feature in the domestic scooter market. Furthermore, the Honda Cliq offers low seat height and is lighter in weight making it agile and easier to maneuver.
The new Honda Cliq comes with combi-brake system (CBS) with equaliser technology, a safety feature that will see mandatory fitment on all sub-125cc two-wheelers from April 1, 2018. It is to be noted that not all two-wheelers below 125cc are currently offering the CBS technology.
Honda’s strategy of launching the new 110cc scooter in Jaipur, along with its plan to begin the sales of Cliq from Rajasthan, is aligned with its focus on the semi-urban and rural markets. The new Honda Cliq is expected to further drive the penetration for the company in these regions. Honda is also understood to expand the production capacity of the new scooter in phases depending upon its demand.
THE PRICE WAR IN THE INDIAN SCOOTER MARKET