UPDATE: Most affordable BS6 scooters in India
Not too long ago, the scooters segment was a shining star in the two-wheeler industry, keeping pace with the 20 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth with the SUV segment, the shining star of the passenger vehicle market. But 18 months ago, the tide turned, the economy moved into slow lane and scooters began bearing the brunt of dwindling demand even as SUVs continued to prove to be the strong buffer for the much-buffeted PV segment.
FY2020, a year which Indian manufacturers would like to forget in a hurry, was an out-and-out sales speed breaker, with overall industry numbers down 18 percent YoY. Two-wheeler sales too were down by 17.76 percent, at 1,74,17,616 units, comprising scooters (55,66,036 / -16.94 percent), motorcycles (1,12,14,640 / -17.53 percent) and mopeds (6,36,940 / -27.64 percent).
Interestingly, despite the overall 18 percent decline in numbers for the two-wheeler segment in FY2020, the sales equation between scooters and motorcycles remained the same as in FY2019: 32 percent scooters and 64 percent motorcycles, something manufacturers would do well to note.
The top 10 scooters list sees the first four slots held by the same models as in FY2019, albeit with differing numbers. The shakeout has happened in the bottom six. To know more, read on.
No. 1 - Honda Activa: 25,91,059 units, down 13.87 percent
Selling nearly 2.6 million units in a single year is no mean feat and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has done just that. At 25,91,059 units, it constitutes sales of 7,098 Activas every single day! But the fact of the matter is that Activa sales are down 13.87 percent YoY (FY2019: 30,08,334). In FY2020, Activa sales accounted for 82 percent of HMSI total scooter sales of 31,47,919 units, which gives it a scooter market share of 56.56 percent (+1.64 percent).
HMSI would have surely liked to do better but blame the decline in FY2020 on adverse market conditions, the shift to pricier BS6 models and, of course, the lockdown. Nonetheless, the Activa remains unsurpassable at the top of the top 10 bestsellers list and will remain so in the foreseeable future. The yawning gap to No. 2 is simply too much to be filled in a hurry. That's because the No. 2 bestselling scooter in India is 19,95,514 units or nearly 2 million units away!
Click here to read our review on the Activa 6G and here to find the one on the BS6 Activa 125.
No. 2 - TVS Jupiter: 5,95,545 units, down 25 percent
The Jupiter, the flagship scooter for the Chennai-based manufacturer, manages to hold onto its No. 2 position by a small margin, as the hard-charging Suzuki Access, India's No. 1 selling 125cc scooter, was just 24,647 units down. In FY2019, the gap between the two rivals was 2,49,294 units! So, if TVS doesn't recharge Jupiter's sales strategy, there could be a new No. 2 in FY2021. The BS6 TVS Jupiter Classic is priced at Rs 67,911 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Launched in 2013, the Jupiter remains the bestselling TVS scooter and crossed the million-unit sales mark 30 months after launch. It has a customer base of over 3 million customers.
No. 3 - Suzuki Access 125: 5,70,898 units, up 6 percent
From the looks of it, a 6 percent year-on-year growth for the Suzuki Access 125 is not much but compare this performance to the red ink splattered on all other scooter sales and the real growth story of the Suzuki scooter comes to the fore. This machine has helped Suzuki Motorcycle India ride high because, despite the multiplicity of growth-impacting issues, this is one two-wheeler firmly bucking the slowdown. The Access, India's bestselling 125cc model, has single-handedly given Suzuki a new charge in the market.
In FY2020, the Access 125 sold 5,70,898 units, which marks 5.89 percent YoY growth (FY2019: 5,39,123). This growth would have been more if not for the poor lockdown month that March was. Nonetheless, the Access 125, which accounted for 88.18 percent of Suzuki's total scooter sales of 6,47,383 units, has given the company a smart jump in scooter market share to 11.63 percent (up by 2.45 percent YoY).
Other than Suzuki, all the six other manufacturers have shown negative sales. In terms of market share, Suzuki has gone ahead of Hero MotoCorp (7.23 percent) and is now third in the pecking order, after leader HMSI (56.56 percent) and TVS Motor Co (18.30 percent)
No. 4 - Honda Dio: 4,39,799 units, down 1.44 percent
Taking fourth place on the top 10 scooters chart is the Honda Dio with 4,39,799 units, down 1.44 percent YoY (FY2019: 4,46,264). Compared to the Activa 'family scooter', Honda has always targeted the younger scooter rider with its 110cc Dio, and the BS6 model launched in early February scores high with its new styling. The new Dio is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model, partly because it sits on a new chassis that debuted on the Activa 125 and 6G.
The 2020 BS6 Honda Dio is available in two variants – Standard (Rs 59,990) and the Deluxe (Rs 63,340). The Standard misses out on the LED headlight and uses a halogen-bulb powered unit instead, it gets an analogue gauge instead of the aforementioned digital console and it also uses black-coloured wheels, instead of the gold-coloured ones seen on the Deluxe. These prices mean the Dio sees a hike of around Rs 7,000 over the BS4 model. The scooter has no direct competitor, as most other sporty-looking scooters are 125cc offerings. That said, TVS’ BS6 Jupiter Classic is priced at Rs 67,911, making this quite a bit more affordable.
No. 5 - TVS Ntorq: 2,65,012 units, up 24.39 percent
Zero to nearly 5,00,000 units in just 26 months? Yes, that's what the TVS Ntorq has achieved. Till end-March 2020, this 125cc scooter has notched total sales of 4,97,860 units, 2,140 units shy of the half-a-million mark. And, in FY2020 moved up one rank to fifth place from sixth in FY2019.
In FY2020, the Ntorq sold a total of 2,65,012 units, up 24.39 percent YoY and accounted for 26 percent of TVS Motor Co's total scooter sales of 10,18,424 units in FY2020. The Jupiter, the No. 2 scooter in India, accounted for 58.47 percent.
No. 6 - Yamaha Fascino: 1,66,491 units, down 17.67 percent
The Yamaha Fascino does not have a very good story to tell about its performance in FY2020. Its sales of 1,66,491 units are down 17.67 percent (FY2019: 2,02,227). It, however, moves up from FY2019's seventh position to sixth in FY2020, but that's because the others have fared worse.
In December 2019, Yamaha became India's latest manufacturer to enter the fast-growing 125cc space and discontinued all its 110cc models with the emissions upgrade to BS6.
The Yamaha Fascino is powered by a new 125cc, fuel-injected, air-cooled engine that produces 8.2hp at 6,500rpm and 9.7Nm of torque at 5,000rpm. These figures are pretty much in the same ballpark as the Activa 125 BS6 but are considerably lower than the 125cc scooters from TVS, Suzuki and Aprilia.
No. 7 - Hero Pleasure: 1,55,329 units, down 5.58 percent
At No. 7 is the Hero Pleasure with 1,55,329 units, down 5.58 percent on year-ago sales of 1,64,515 units, but up two positions from FY2019.
In May 2019, the Pleasure scooter received a rather significant update. Dubbed the Hero Pleasure Plus, the scooter was priced at Rs 47,300 for a sheet metal wheel variant and Rs 49,300 for an alloy wheel variant (both prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). The redesigned scooter is now powered by the larger 110.9cc motor, which is also seen on the Duet and Maestro Edge siblings and develops 8.1hp and 8.7Nm of torque.
In terms of competition, the Pleasure Plus will take on scooters like the Yamaha Fascino (Rs 55,623) and the Honda Dio (Rs 52,938).
No. 8 - Hero Destini 125: 1,13,944 units
Hero MotoCorp launched the Destini 125 in mid-2018, its first attempt in the 125cc scooter space and also the most affordable in its class. However, the Destini 125 has pulled in much lesser numbers than Hero would have liked.
On February 17, Hero MotoCorp launched the BS6-compliant Destini 125 at Rs 64,310 (LX variant) and Rs 66,800 (VX). This is an increase of around Rs 7,000 over the corresponding BS4 variants. The base LX variant misses out on dual-texture seats, alloy wheels and chrome garnishes on the apron. Features like a mobile charger and a boot lamp are standard on the VX, while it’s optional on the base LX variant.
For 2020, the Hero Destini uses a fuel-injection system instead of a carburettor. However, unlike other scooters, the BS6 Destini has seen an increase in power and torque when compared to the BS4-compliant version.
No. 9 - Yamaha Ray: 1,07,485 units
The second Yamaha scooter in the top 10 list, the Ray, turned BS6-compliant in early February, with the rollout of the BS6-compliant Ray ZR 125 and Ray ZR 125 Street Rally scooters. The Ray ZR 125 is available in two variants – drum (Rs 66,730) and disc (Rs 69,730), while the Ray ZR 125 Street Rally is only available with a disc brake at Rs 70,730.
Compared to the drum-brake variant of the BS4 110cc Ray ZR, the new 125cc model costs Rs 11,849 more. This increase is justifiable, considering just how big an update the new model is.
The outgoing Yamaha Ray ZR and its variants are powered by a 113cc, single-cylinder, carburetted engine that produces peak output figures of 7.2hp and 8.1Nm of torque. Meanwhile, the new Ray ZR 125s are powered by a 125cc, single-cylinder unit that is fuel-injected and BS6-compliant.
We took the new Ray ZR125 on a short ride and you can click here to read about it.
No. 10 - Hero Maestro: 94,533 units, down 65 percent YoY
Closing the Top 10 scooter chart for FY2020 is the Hero Maestro with 94,533 units, which is a massive 65 percent down on year-ago sales of 2,72,432.
On February 17 this year, in a bid to recharge sales and also move into BS6 territory, Hero MotoCorp launched the BS6-compliant Maestro Edge 125 in three variants – Rs 67,950 (alloy wheel with drum brake), Rs 70,150 (alloy wheel with disc brake) and Rs. 70,650 (alloy wheel with disc brake and a unique colour option). This is an increase of around Rs 8,000 over the carburetted models.
The Maestro Edge 125 shares its engine with Hero’s only other 125cc scooter, the Destini 125. The new BS6-compliant version makes 9hp at 7,000rpm and 10.4Nm of torque at 5,500rpm from the 125cc, fuel-injected engine, identical to the figures of the BS6-compliant Destini 125.
With a starting price of Rs 67,950, the new Maestro Edge 125 is more expensive than the BS6-compliant base versions of the TVS Ntorq 125 (Rs 65,975), Suzuki Access 125 (Rs 64,800), Yamaha Ray ZR 125 (Rs 66,730) and the Honda Activa 125 (Rs 67,490). Will the Maestro be in FY2021's Top 10 bestsellers list? Watch this space.
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