The month of March is always met with a spur of activity in the market place primarily because of the financial year ending. Manufacturers and dealers throw open deals to make every purchase sweeter for the end consumer. It was indeed a great year ending for the Indian 2 wheeler industry, clocking a growth of 7.4% over Feb 2014 and a whopping 12% over March 2013. This indeed is a positive sign for the auto industry when the country is gripped in political drama! Let's have a look at the OEM and brand wise performers:
Hero Moto Corp: Hero proves again why it is the largest 2 Wheeler manufacturer by clocking a 12% growth YoY and contributing to the overall industry growth. There is a lot of buzz in the Hero camp with a slew of products lined up this fiscal year primarily in the Commuter and Sports segment. This should help Hero maintain its leadership position and sustain volumes greater than 5 lakh units consistently. 82% of the volumes came from Motorcycles which contribute only to 11% of growth whereas the scooters grew by 22.1%.
1. Bajaj Auto: The Chakan based manufacturer is clearly struggling in a bullish 2 wheeler market. With hardly 1% growth YoY, is not great going in the Bajaj camp. They have cluttered the market with various offerings in the Sports-commuter segment (125CC) and the commuter segment. They are stretching the Discover brand name and with a lot of offerings under the same umbrella, the consumer is confused rather than excited. It seems, their flanking strategy is not working. Bajaj has plans to give a minor facelift to the Pulsar in terms of new dual tone colour options for the range. They have already done it for the 200NS which was launched with a lot of ambition but is losing steam. Pulsar has been flat and discover which is the major volume driver is still losing out to shine big time. This is highlighted by the drop in MS in Executive segment by 4% for BAL.
HMSI: Honda is on a roll and they continue to grow on their strong hold in the scooter segment. They are very close to hitting the TWO LAKH mark in scooter sales which is a phenomenal achievement. Along with this they have a share of 58% of the scooter market! In sometime down the line HMSI is all set to threaten the “Hero” of 2 wheelers. With the Launch of the Activa-i, the 125CC scooter, HMSI is all set to increase its foothold in the scooter segment. However HMSI is facing trouble in the Premium segment with the CBR twins and Unicorn losing steam because of KTMs stronghold. But with HMSI all set to bring in a few more bikes courtesy its Japanese mother company, the competition is set to heat up.
1. TVS Motors: The Chennai based company seems to be focusing on motorcycles more than Scooters. However it has tasted success with the Jupiter in the market which was fought by the Scooty and Wego alone. Overall they have grown by 15.8% YoY which is a very positive sign for the company. However the major cause of concern is that TVS is doing nothing about the Apache which is fighting a losing battle in the Premium segment. With competition heating up. TVS better do something quick! However TVS volumes are still coming from the 2 wheels that drives the nation- MOPEDS. They are the only company selling it but almost 50% of the volumes come from this segment.
1. Yamaha: A company known to build one of the World’s best motorcycles is ironically riding high on the success of the scooters that hit the market. The Alpha and the Ray have contributed to 28.7% growth YoY! Not surprisingly 40% of Yamaha’s sales have come from the Alpha. The FZ continues to be the Lord of the streets and is challenging the dominance of Pulsar month on month. With the Quarter litre bike(R25) from Yamaha teasing the media and the upgrades for the FZ and the R15, the Indian consumer, am sure is waiting for Yamaha’s next move to make a purchase decision!
Suzuki: Suzuki has been struggling in India and yet they have managed to clock 28,475 units. 70% of these numbers being clocked by a single scooter called Access is a sign that Suzuki needs to do something real quick before the other entrants catch on! However the launch of Inazuma is a part of a turn around story for Suzuki. These guys have some of the World’s best motorcycles and they have the ability to bring them to India.
2. Mahindra & Mahindra: M&M breathed new life into the Executive segment with the Centuro that showcased that the consumer can get some never before seen premium features without paying a bomb for it! Kudos to that. M&M have managed to do good numbers primarily because of this as the Scooter segment has crashed badly (49.6% de-growth).
3. Royal Enfield: Since these guys focus on a niche market I have not included them in the brand wise figures. However the company managed to sell 23,170 bikes last month posting a healthy 90.9% growth.
( (Author's Profile: Manu Sasidharan. Am a hardcore petrol head, an auto enthusiast and an amateur designer. I have been in close touch with the industry for a long time and am abreast with the action in the automotive sphere. Driving is my passion and combined with a love for travelling makes me a nomad by nature. On the education front, I have done my Engg in Electical and Electronics from Cochin university and my Management studies from Symbiosis Pune.)