The no-holds-barred battle between Hero and Honda, between motorcycle and scooter, but on two wheels only, continues between the Splendor and the Activa, both the highest sellers in their respective segments. While the two have regularly traded places at the top, in June the two were separated by a mere 6,004 units.
The Hero Splendor family of commuter motorcycles took the crown with a total of 2,42,743 units. The Hero Splendor commuter motorcycle, whose iSmart variant recently became the country’s first BS6-certified two-wheeler, continues to rule the Top 10 two-wheeler chart for the third month straight.
Smarting from its loss to the Activa by only 2,716 units in FY2019, in April 2019 the Splendor wrested the crown with sales of 2,23,532 units, compared to the Activa’s 2,10,961 units – a difference of 12,571 units. In May 2019, the Hero Splendor sold a total of 2,67,450 units compared to the Honda Activa’s 2,18,734 units – a difference of 48,716 units.
The closing of the gap by the Honda Activa, which has improved its sales in June 2019 with 2,36,739 units, makes it a close second to its long-time competitor – albeit considerably below year-ago sales of 2,92,294 units. This is the best yet in Q1 FY2020, considering Honda dispatched 2,10,961 units in April 2019. In May-end, the company 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. The company is aggressively readying up for the BS6 era and recently revealed its BS6-compliant, fuel-injected Activa 125.
The Hero HF Deluxe maintains its No. 3 position with dispatches of 1,93,194 units, bettering its 1,83,255 units in May and 1,82,029 units of April 2019, indicating that the commuter bike is growing sales month-on-month, despite an overall downturn in the market.
At fourth place is the Honda CB Shine with sales of 84,871 units, down on the 92,069 units in May 2019. Demand seems to be growing for this motorcycle; and in a bid to increase sales, HMSI recently launched the CB Shine Limited Edition at Rs 59,083 for the drum-brake model and Rs 63,743 for the disc-brake variant.
Bajaj Auto enters the Top 10 chart with the Pulsar range at No. 5 and 83,008 units. Bajaj Auto, which was the biggest market-share gainer in FY2019, will be looking to up the ante in the coming months. In Q1 FY2020, Bajaj Auto dispatched a total of 6,10,936 motorcycles, which marks a 2.81 percent year-on-year growth for the company.
At No. 6 is the Hero Glamour with 69,878 units, improving on its May 2019 tally of 69,379 units. The 124.7cc motorcycle was once a strong buy in the market but is in danger of losing its glamour. Expect Hero MotoCorp to come up with a new strategy designed to re-introduce some charm into this executive commuter.
The Bajaj Platina, with 56,947 units, takes seventh place. The Platina, along with the CT100 and Discover, has been instrumental in driving Bajaj Auto's strong performance in FY2019 and also in the ongoing depressed market environment.
At No. 8 is the TVS Jupiter, the second-bestselling scooter in India after the Activa. In June 2019, the scooter sold a total of 56,254 units, similar to its May 2019 sales of 56,797 units. While the company must be happy that the numbers have not fallen in the depressed market, the Jupiter is not gaining speedier traction, remaining in the 50,000-60,000-unit monthly sales bracket. On June 7, TVS launched two variants of the Jupiter ZX – drum and disc. While the drum-brake model has been priced at Rs 56,093, the front disc-brake-equipped version costs Rs 58,645 (both prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Both come equipped with TVS’ version of combined brakes, called SBT, as standard. The ZX variant now gets many new features, including an LED headlight and a digi-analogue instrument cluster.
Ninth place goes to the Hero Passion motorcycle with 56,143 units – 13,520 units less than the 69,663 units sold in May and a sizeable 19.41 percent decline in monthly numbers.
Closing the Top 10 bestsellers' list is the toughie on two wheels that refuses to bow out in an era of fast-paced motoring – the TVS XL Super moped; with 52,253 units, a tad more than the 52,109 units in May 2019.
Earlier this year, TVS Motor Company, the sole moped-maker in India confirmed to Autocar Professional that it will make its mopeds BS6-compliant. Not surprising, considering that the company has sold a total of 7.65 million mopeds in India in over a decade and remains the most affordable form of mobility on two wheels.