Home / Auto News / Two-wheelers to ride festive wave, but lag other segments

NEW DELHI : Two-wheeler sales are likely to rise ahead of the festive season, but the segment is unlikely to match the growth in other vehicle categories, according to automotive industry executives.

Motorcycle and scooter makers are betting on domestic sales of two-wheelers to offset muted export growth because of inflation and economic slowdowns in many overseas markets. Expectations of a normal monsoon and a decent harvest after a two-year gap are fuelling expectations that the segment might finally see a pick-up in the festive months after posting lacklustre sales in the year-earlier period.

While festive season sales may grow about 10% over last year, two-wheeler dealers said a full recovery to pre-covid levels is still some time away in the absence of any triggers for demand, especially in the entry-level segment.

“We expect to see an improvement in retail two-wheeler sales as is par for the course during festive seasons. But will it be good enough to wipe off the deficit we saw in the last few months, or will the bump in sales be as significant as is expected for passenger vehicles? That is not likely to be the case," said Nikunj Sanghi, owner of Rajasthan-based JS Fourwheel Motors.

“We will continue to feel the stress in demand, but the immediate issue in terms of (sales) numbers may be resolved".

According to Sanghi, two-wheeler supply in the entry-level and executive segment has been consistent, and it is only demand-side issues that are plaguing sales. There was, however, a shortage in the premium segment of bikes, but better availability of semiconductor chips has led to better availability over the last couple of months.

“Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and Onam in Kerala did not prove to be as big as we were expecting, so there is some disappointment there," he said.

Vinkesh Gulati, a former president of automobile retailers body Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), said the internal combustion engine (ICE) variants of two-wheelers are likely to see a 10% increase in sales in the festive season, but electric two-wheeler sales have become stagnant over the past few months.

“We are seeing sales of electric two-wheeler stagnate at levels of around 15,000 units a month because many traditional OEMs have still not been able to make their EV offerings available in all cities or showrooms. That will take time to ease out".

“However, in the ICE segment, we see growth across segments. However, it will not surpass pre-covid levels. Recovery at that level and going past it will take at least a year or two," he added. He expects this growth to be led by electric two-wheelers.

Dealers expect sales to slow from November onwards once the festive season ends.

“There will be attractive discounts and schemes on offer from brands in the entry-level and under 125cc segment to move customers to make a purchase decision. There are also new brand launches in some popular categories, which should aid in covering up for sales that we are losing at the entry levels," Gulati said.


Alisha Sachdev

Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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