Two-wheeler sales in December failed to provide any relief from the ongoing slowdown in domestic numbers. As the final month of 2019 failed to spring any positive surprises despite the ample discounts and special services on offer, all eyes are now on the rollout of new BS6 models to bring about the much-needed pickup in sales.
Hero MotoCorp despatches dropped by 6 percent in December, to 4,12,009 units, on a year on year (YoY) basis (December 2018: 4,36,591). On a month on month (MoM) basis too, sales declined by 19 percent or 93,985 units (November 2019: 5,05,994).
Hero sold a total of 5,075,208 motorcycle and scooter units in the first nine months of FY2020. This is 9,64,377 units less compared to the same period last year. Going forward, the company is looking to further its dominance in the commuter segment, with the launch of the BS6 Splendor iSmart (the first BS6 motorcycle in the country) and HF Deluxe. Hero has reported a 26 percent decline in its export in the month, at 12,836 units (December 2018: 17,394 units).
Bajaj Auto buffered its decline in domestic December despatches with its exports. Its despatches dropped 12 percent to 1,24,125 motorcycles YoY (December 2018: 1,57,252 units) and slid 30 percent MoM (November 2019: 1,76,337 units). However, exports were up 13 percent to 1,60,677 motorcycles in December 2019 (December 2018: 1,41,603 units.) In the April to December period, Bajaj’s total domestic sale declined 13 percent to 16,75,264 units YoY, in comparison to the same period last year (April-December FY2019: 19,31,226). Export-wise, Bajaj Auto posted the highest-ever quarterly sales in Q3 of FY2020, at 4,84,183 units.
TVS Motor Company clocked total domestic sales of 1,57,244 units in December 2019 (December 2018: 2,09,906 units), down 25 percent on a year on year basis. Month on month too, its sales tanked 18 percent (November 2019: 1,91,222 units). However, in terms of exports, the company claims to have shipped 20 percent more, at 58,375 units, YoY in December 2019 (December 2018: 48,803 units). For the third quarter of FY2020, its sales slipped 18 percent to 7,70,000, compared to 9,50,000 units YoY.
Declining sales continued to be the trend across the industry. Royal Enfield sales declined 13 percent at 48,489 units YoY (December 2018: 56,026 units) and an even steeper 16 percent decline MoM (November 2019: 58,292 units). Exports too dropped 14 percent YoY at 1,927 units (December 2018: 2,252 units).
Suzuki Motorcycle India's domestic sales were tepid, down 1 percent YoY at 44,368 units in December (December 2018: 43,874 units). The extent of decline was rather sharp on a month on month basis. Compared to November, the sales nose-dived a sharp 27 percent (November 2019: 60,855 units). The company’s exports too slipped, down 5 percent at 7,983 units (December 2018: 8,488 units).
Commenting on the sales figures, Koichiro Hirao, managing director, Suzuki Motorcycle India said, “As we step in the year 2020, we are ready to shift all our products to BS VI, way ahead of the deadline.”
As the industry continues to grapple with a consistent decline in demand, all eyes are on the launch of new BS6 models and their role in cushioning this fall. Many dealers are stacking up these new models and commencing bookings for the same to draw BS6 pre-buying customers. However, will the BS6-driven mark up in prices, ranging from 8 percent to 15-odd percent impact demand, particularly in the commuter segment? Stay tuned.