The Indian two-wheeler industry witnessed an uptick in sales during the recently concluded festive season. Traditionally strong markets in North India failed to live up to their reputation, while markets in the Southern states did surprisingly well. As a result, the performance figures appear somewhat mixed, but overall, they do indicate that the market isn’t stagnating anymore. In fact, there are indications of an upward trend that may appear marginal when compared to the double-digit growth of four-wheelers, but it is still discernible.
Vinkesh Gulati, former FADA president said that “two-wheelers will continue on the path of recovery thanks to the wedding season, which will further give relief to the sector which has been facing negative headwinds due to multiple challenges.”
Gulati, however, indicated that targetting pre-COVID-19 levels of growth is “still miles away” as there continues to be issues in rural areas. Inflation and unseasonal rains continue to play spoilsport dampening overall consumer spending.
Here's a quick look at how the brands have fared so far.
Royal Enfield has shown the strongest recovery of 84.44 percent from 76,528 units of domestic sales in October 2022 as compared to 40,511 units in October 2021. This is due to huge consumer interest in its highest seller, the Classic 350, followed by the recently introduced Hunter 350, Meteor 350, Bullet 350 and Electra 350 series.
Suzuki Motorcycle India
Suzuki Motorcycles managed to sell a record 69,634 units last month as compared to 56,780 units over the same period last year. The brand recorded an impressive 22.63 percent jump in sales that was helped with renewed consumer interest in new, upgraded colour options for its popular Suzuki Access 125 range of scooters.
“Considering the fact that Suzuki Motorcycle India sells premium products in the domestic market, this is a very satisfying culmination of our efforts. This remarkable sales increase is a sign of the growing popularity of the brand in the domestic and overseas two-wheeler market,” said Satoshi Uchida, managing director, Suzuki Motorcycle India.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI)
For the best part of the year, it was a tug of war between Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) and its closest rival by volume, Hero MotoCorp. HMSI, which pipped Hero MotoCorp in retail sales last month, ended up narrowing its wholesale despatches gap by close to 20,000 units for October 22.
HMSI closed the festive season with the company's domestic dispatches up by 7.94 percent from 3,94,645 units last year, to an impressive 4,25,000 units last month. The product offensive was led by the Premium edition of the Activa, Dio Sport Edition and Shine Celebration Editions.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Atsushi Ogata, managing director, president and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India said, “This year’s festival season has ushered in a period of real growth and positive sentiment and we are truly elated to witness such strong demand pouring in from the market.”
The maker of Activa scooters also plans to add more products to its Big Wing dealerships, with the introduction of the naked streetfighter motorcycle CB300F, which for now, will have a presence in newer outlets in Rajkot (Gujarat), New Delhi, and two outlets in Hyderabad (Telangana).
HMSI, which dominates the Karnataka and Gujarat belt with over nine million customers, has seen its net profit soar by 604 percent to Rs 1,000 crore in FY22.
Even with 4,42,825-unit sales for October 22, it wasn’t what the two-wheeler manufacturer was expecting. In fact, its performance was down by 16 percent as compared to 5,27,779 units it sold last year. Even worse, the brand continued its downward trend due to its over reliance on the Splendor and slower recovery in rural markets. This had the industry volume leader selling less than five lakh units since June.
Analysts tracking the company said that price hikes during the quarter increased the average selling price by three percent, which led to the cost economics not working in the consumer's favour. This is not surprising in a fiercely competitive market driven by discounts and incentive schemes, which play a very important role in consumer decision making. Honda’s Activa scooter sales overtook Hero MotoCorp’s entry-level volume seller, the Splendor.
TVS Motor Company
TVS is proving to be one of the fastest growing ICE to EV players in India's two-wheeler market. Its numbers also tell a story of sharp recovery for the Hosur-based bike maker for the month of October 2022. The company saw a seven percent jump in total domestic despatches of 2,75,934 units as compared to 2,58,744 in the year-ago period.
What’s more, in its latest report, global investment banking firm UBS has recommended that TVS is emerging as India's fastest ICE to EV player.
TVS Motor Company plans to launch five EVs in the next 12-15 months and has revised its overall product portfolio to ensure decent volumes from its three service lines of scooters, motorcycles and EVs.
In the EV segment, it has recently introduced the TVS iQube Electric, which has a price advantage as it is at least Rs 30,000-35,000 lower than rival Ola Electric’s top selling Ola S1 Pro. This model has showcased a strong sales growth of 8,103 units in October 2022 as against sales of 395 units in October 2021.
The Pune-based two-wheeler maker reported domestic sales of over 2.06 lakh units in October 2022. That figure represents a 3.72 percent growth compared to last year's 1,98,738-unit sales. Top selling models for the brand include the Pulsar, Platina, CT 100, Avenger and sports bike Dominar as well as the Chetak electric scooter.
Royal Enfield Bikes
Royal Enfield Himalayan 650
Expected Price : ₹ 4.00 - 4.09 lakh
Royal Enfield Shotgun 650
Expected Price : ₹ 3.00 - 3.50 lakh
Royal Enfield Classic 650
Expected Price : ₹ 3.40 - 3.60 lakh
Royal Enfield Scrambler 650
Expected Price : ₹ 32.00 - 3.50 lakh
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
₹ 4.16 - 4.51 lakh
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
₹ 3.82 - 4.12 lakh
Royal Enfield Himalayan
₹ 2.28 - 3.41 lakh
Royal Enfield 2023 Bullet 350
₹ 2.04 - 2.62 lakh
Royal Enfield Classic 350 2021
₹ 2.16 - 2.61 lakh
Royal Enfield Hunter 350
₹ 1.77 - 1.99 lakh
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
₹ 3.63 - 3.95 lakh
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
₹ 2.50 - 2.78 lakh
Royal Enfield Scram 411
₹ 2.47 lakh