The 125cc premium TVS Ntorq has debuted amongst the Top 10 scooters within barely three months of its launch. The model, priced at Rs 58,570, is getting an enthusiastic response owing to TVS Motor Company’s focus on quality, attention to detail and value-for-money features. The two-wheeler has beaten Honda’s Grazia – its immediate competition – in the premium 125cc scooter segment. The Grazia had broken in the Top 10 in November 2017 in the first month of its launch.
The TVS NTorq 125 sold 14,695 units in May 2018, ranking eighth in the country’s best-selling scooters list. The Honda Grazia, on the other hand, sold 12,068 units last month, slipping to tenth place from its rank of sixth in April 2018. Honda sold close to 26,000 units of its 125cc Grazia scooter in April. The reasons behind this sharp decline in the month-on-month sales volumes are still unclear.
The performance of the TVS NTorq 125 appears to be on track now, given that the company aims to sell about 2 lakh units in its first year of commercial sales (including exports). Both scooter models, are still relatively new in the market and are expected to play pivotal roles in setting the tone for the 125cc scooter category, over time. This segment is also going to see new models from Hero MotoCorp (Maestro Edge 125 and Duet 125, showcased at Auto Expo 2018) riding in, in the near future. However, both the TVS and Honda offerings are a ways from being direct competition to the Access 125 – the current leader in the 125cc scooter segment.
Meanwhile, at the top of the chart, the contenders remain unchanged. The Honda Activa still leads the scooter market with massive margins. The Japanese brand sold 272,475 units in May 2018, down by 3.54 percent, year-on-year.
TVS Motor’s 110cc Jupiter – the Honda Activa’s closest rival – sold 58,098 units last month, reporting a flat year-on-year growth of 1.80 percent and coming in second on the charts.
The Suzuki Access 125 appears to have sealed its position at No. 3 with domestic sales of 46,217 units, up an impressive 44.90 percent, YoY; effectively taking the spot occupied by the Honda Dio in May 2017. This model from Suzuki Motorcycle India's stable continues to be one of the most trusted scooters in the domestic market. While the Access 125 is the largest selling Suzuki two-wheeler in India, it has also played its own critical role in driving the scooter market across regions over the last decade.
Nevertheless, the company has been sluggish in terms of scaling up its manufacturing and retail operations – despite having a winning scooter with credible brand recognition at hand. In spite of the mounting competition from its rivals in this premium space, the Suzuki Access 125 continues to be the largest-selling 125cc scooter in India. However, Suzuki is gearing up to enter the premium 125cc segment with the launch of the Burgman Street, next month.
Honda’s 110cc Dio is the fourth-largest selling scooter in India this month, with sales of 32,899 units. While YoY volumes have declined by 20.35 percent, demand for the Dio is expected to bounce back with the start of the college season during June-July 2018. It is a very popular scooter amongst young college goers. The fact that it has received a facelift in March (as well as a new Deluxe variant), should also help boost sales.
Hero’s 110cc Maestro and Duet models rank fifth and sixth in the Top 10 scooters list with sales of 23,509 units (down by 34.32 percent YoY) and 19,741 units (up 2.85 percent YoY) respectively. The sharp decline in the Hero Maestro volumes is assumed to be a result of an inventory adjustment by the manufacturer.
Yamaha’s 113cc Fascino model ranks seventh, with sales of 15,132 units – down by 12.24 percent, YoY. The company has visibly taken some measures to resurrect the sales of its bestselling scooter in the domestic pockets – in the form of new marketing campaigns and initiatives. It can be recalled that at one time, Yamaha was selling about 25,000 units of the Fascino every month, which had led to a sharp growth in its scooter market share.
Hero MotoCorp’s 102cc Pleasure – targeted at female commuters – saw sales of 12,148 units in May 2018, down by 22 percent, YoY.
It would be interesting to see how these models change their respective positions once the demand for scooters picks up in June and subsequent months.