125cc-150cc bikes see 18% drop in domestic sales
Mumbai: The executive motorcycle segment (with engines having a cubic capacity of 125cc to 150cc) has seen an 18.43% year-on-year drop in domestic sales for the fiscal up to January, according to data provided by industry body Siam (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers).
The segment, dominated by Pune-based automaker Bajaj Auto Ltd’s Pulsar models, clocked 920,567 units during the 10 months to January as compared to 1.09 million units for the corresponding period in the past fiscal year.
Overall sales fell on the back of an increased consumer preference for more powerful bikes (with engine displacement higher than 150cc, termed the premium segment) and scooters owing to greater urbanisation and more women riders.
Total scooter sales during the period jumped 17.3% from the year-ago to 56,41,243 units, while the premium segment, led by Eicher Motor Ltd’s Royal Enfield motorcycles, clocked 1.52 million units, a 27.9% jump from 1.18 million units in the year-ago.
Amongst the companies present in the executive segment, only Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India Pvt. Ltd (HMSI) recorded positive growth while Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp Ltd and India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd declined. Bajaj weighed in the most on the fall, with a 32.1% slump to 438,395 units.
Yamaha, Hero and Bajaj did not respond to e-mails and phone calls till the time of going to press.
Analysts attribute HMSI’s growth to a lower base and an aggressive expansion in its dealership network while the company attributed its growth to strong demand for its upgraded Unicorn 150 model on the back of its “performance, styling and practicality”, according to Y.S.Guleria, senior vice-president (sales and marketing).
Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India posted sales of 194,434 units, a 45.3% rise from a year-ago.
At present, HMSI is facing capacity constraints in manufacturing this model and therefore, sells it only in the southern and western regions described as “traditionally strong markets for Honda in this segment” by Guleria.
On the place of the segment within the broader motorcycle industry, analysts say it could lose out to the premium segment but this movement will not happen sharply.
The price point in the premium segment is too high for some users so the segment will exist but will not see a meaningful rise in market share, according to Ashutosh Tiwari, head of research at Equirius Securities.
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