Two-wheeler OEMs record brisk sales in July

by Amit Panday 06 Aug 2018

Continuing to grow year-on-year, the two-wheeler industry appears to have recorded a jump of close to 9 percent in July 2018. The performance by the six major OEMs who have reported their July numbers until now totals 17,57,414 units, marking a YoY growth of 8.70 percent for the month.

This group of six OEMs, which includes the big four -- Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, TVS Motor Company and Bajaj Auto – and Royal Enfield and Suzuki Motorcycle India, had reported total sales of 16,16,735 units in July 2017.

It is to be noted that all have reported a positive growth YoY except Honda, which has reported a marginal decline. Industry leader Hero MotoCorp leads the way in terms of growing via additional volumes. The Pawan Munjal-led company has garnered additional volumes of 56,593 units YoY. TVS Motor Company and Bajaj Auto follow with additional volumes of 36,518 units and 27,986 units respectively for the last month.

It is noteworthy that Suzuki Motorcycle India too is growing at a healthy clip and has added fresh volumes of 19,283 units in July 2018, when compared to July 2017. Furthermore, Royal Enfield’s YoY growth rate appears to be slowing down as it has added only 3,844 units for the last month.

How the OEMs fared
Continuing to maintain its momentum and dispatch volumes of more than six lakh units per month, Hero MotoCorpIndia’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, has reported total sales of 679,862 units in July, up 9.08 percent YoY. The company had sold 623,269 units in July last year.

Commenting on the growing numbers, Pawan Munjal, chairman, MD, and CEO, Hero MotoCorp, said, "We are confident of carrying the growth trajectory forward and expect to grow in double-digits in the upcoming festive season. The normal monsoon in most parts of the country, and the consequent agricultural harvest will keep the sentiments buoyant and help maintain the momentum. Economic growth, rural investments and initiatives such as MSP, MNREGA and others augur well for the future growth of the industry.”

Hero MotoCorp has line up new product launches before the incoming festive season to gather further momentum through the ongoing fiscal. The upcoming products include the 200cc motorcycles (Xtreme 200R and X-Pulse adventure bike) and the 125cc scooters (under the Maestro and Duet badges).

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has dispatched 508,415 units in July 2018, marginally down by 0.70 percent YoY. The company had reported dispatches of 511,960 units in July last year. However, it is to be noted that Honda is able to maintain its monthly dispatches of more than 500,000 units. According to the company, July 2018 was the third successive month when it dispatched more than 500,000 units. Interestingly, the company has breached the two-million units sales mark within April – July 2018 period, a first in its history.

“Honda’s domestic sales have grown by 10 percent from 19,90,438 in April – July 2017 to 21,98,838 units in April – July 2018,” quotes the company release.

The company has sold 345,550 scooters and 162,865 motorcycles, both including export, during July 2018.

Sharing Honda’s performance, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice-president - Sales and Marketing, HMSI said, “In July 2018, Honda 2Wheelers India has crossed the 38 million customers mark cumulatively since its start of operations in 2001. Growing in solid double digits, Honda has sold over 20 lakh units in the shortest span of just 4 months. Also, we are fully geared up to maximise the potential and sales opportunity in the upcoming festival season.”

The company has rolled out five model upgrades in the recent past. These include Activa 125, CD 110 Dream, Navi, Aviator and Activa i.

Honda has also announced that it has further strengthened its leadership in the southern states. According to the company, it has created a new record by achieving sales of more than five lakh units in three months in the Southern region, wherein it includes Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Commenting on this milestone, Guleria added, “The South region is also driving the two-wheeler industry demand across India and to serve our customers faster and better. We sold our first two-wheeler in the south only 17 years ago. Honda expanded the production capacity at the Karnataka plant, making it the world’s largest two-wheeler plant for Honda. To reach closer to the customers and enhance market connect, Honda has aggressively expanded network presence in the region and also operates direct company offices in Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Vijaywada.”

The company claims to have more than 10 million customers in the Southern region alone.

Third largest two-wheeler manufacturer, TVS Motor Company has reported domestic sales of 247,382 units, thereby growing at a decent 12.76 percent YoY. The company had sold 219,396 units in July last year.

TVS Motor’s total scooter and motorcycle sales stood at 118,996 units (up 29 percent YoY) and 121,434 units (up 11 percent YoY) respectively. These numbers consist of domestic as well as export dispatches.

In the domestic market, while the 110cc Jupiter scooter continues to be the largest selling model for the company, the 125cc scooter Ntorq is adding fresh customer base. On the motorcycles front, the Apache brand is faring well with healthy sales across the portfolio, which starts from the Apache RTR 160 4V and goes up to the fully-faired RR 310.

Pune-based Bajaj Auto continues to be on a roll, thanks to the discounted pricing strategy implemented on its entry-level motorcycles, primarily the CT100, which has recorded a sharp surge in its monthly sales recently. It has also added new models in its Pulsar range recently namely the Classic and the Pulsar Twin Disc. While the Classic is a stripped down version making the brand more accessible, the Twin Disc appeals to the regular 150cc customers. Both are understood to be fetching good volumes to the company.

Thanks to its aggressive strategies, Bajaj Auto has reported sales of 201,433 units in July, up 22.14 percent YoY. It had sold 164,915 motorcycles in July last year.

Royal Enfield has clocked sales of 67,001 units in July, up a humble 6.09 percent YoY. The company had dispatched 63,157 motorcycles in July last year. The Siddhartha Lal -ed company is prepping up to roll out the 650cc motorcycles in another two months from now, first in the international markets followed by the launch in India. The company is targeting the festive season as the strategic launch pad for its incoming products.

Suzuki Motorcycle India has recorded sales of 53,321 units (up 57 percent YoY) in July 2018. The company claims that this was its highest-ever monthly sales in India, as it is gunning for its annual target to sell seven lakh units this fiscal.

Sajeev Rajasekharan, EVP, Suzuki Motorcycle India said, “Our commitment to offer world-class product to Indian customers continues with the introduction of Gixxer/SF SP 2018 Series and the launch of the new Burgman Street. We have already completed more than 10,000 dispatches for the Burgman Street within the first-month. The positive customer sentiments and healthy demand in urban and semi-urban areas have spurred the growth momentum. This augers well for us ahead of the festive season.”

All the two-wheeler OEMs are now optimistically looking at the festive season, which will contine until Diwali in November 2018. These critical months will define their growth for the whole financial year.