The Indian two-wheeler industry, to give it its due, has shown its resilience in what was a very challenging FY2021. In the domestic market, with sales of 1,51,19,387 units or a little over 15 million units, total numbers were down 13.19 percent year on year but the statistics would have been worse if not for improved fortunes in Q4 FY2021.
Interestingly, even as global markets witnessed troubled times of their own, the Indian two-wheeler industry exported all of 3.27 million units (32,77,724 units)which marks a relatively low 6.87 percent YoY decline (FY2020: 35,19,405). Two companies shine for their made-in-India export effort: Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Co. While Bajaj Auto, the country’s No. 1 two-wheeler exporter, shipped nearly 1.8 million units (-3.89 percent), Chennai-based TVS dispatched 7,64,039 units to overseas markets to notch a solid 12.55 percent YoY growth.
For TVS, the combine of the 110cc Radeon, Jive and Sport motorcycles was the largest contributor, with 3,21,491 units, up 18 percent YoY (FY2020: 2,72,486). They were followed by the Star City and Victor with 2,67,350 units, up 19 percent (FY2020: 2,24,640), Apache series with 1,12,448 units, up 18 percent (FY2020: 95,553), the Jupiter, NTorq, Wego and Zest scooters with 41,621 units, down 23 percent (FY2020: 54,498), RR 310 with 12,816 units and the XL moped with 8,313 units.
TVS, which hit a high of 1,00,000 units monthly exports in March 2021, has a presence in over 60 countries across Africa, South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Central and Latin America, and is seeking to enter more markets in Europe and North America as well. The company's key export products include the Apache, HLX series and Stryker series
Bajaj Auto and TVS together account for 78 percent of total two-wheeler exports – 25,60,557 units – in FY2021. The importance of Bajaj Auto to the overall two-wheeler industry’s performance can be gleaned from the fact that the company accounts for 55 percent of total Indian OEM shipments of 32,77,724 units (-6.87 percent). TVS contributed 23.31 percent in FY2021, better than the 19 percent in FY2020.
Hero MotoCorp also fared well on the export front, albeit in smaller numbers. The company exported 186,515 units, up 4.63 percent (FY2020: 178,261).
Exports enable smart capacity utilisation
Judicious management of both, domestic and export market sales helps inventory management as well as capacity utilisation. For Bajaj Auto, which produced a total of 36,42,412 units in FY2021, domestic sales (18,09,375 units / -12.94 percent) and exports (17,96,518 units / -3.89 percent) add up to 36,05,893 units, which leaves just 36,519 units in inventory. Smart management indeed!
TVS carried out a similar act. The company produced a total of 29,32,085 units (-5 percent) and sold 21,64,228 units (-10.22 percent) in the domestic market and exported 7,64,039 units in FY2021. Cumulatively, they add up to 28,29,267 units – which means 1,02,818 units are carried forward into FY2022. Not bad, given the adverse market conditions.
Riding into FY2022, expect Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Co to up the ante on the export front. Not only are the profit margins better on the made-in-India products but importantly overseas sales act as a buffer to inclement conditions in the domestic market.