MUMBAI: Even as bike sales continue to head south, scooterisation of the market is on the rise with Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India clocking record sales in January at over 2.10 lakh units, making its Activa top the volume share for fifth time this fiscal.
With this, the company’s market share in the scooter space has increased by 1 percentage point to 56 per cent, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior VP for sales & marketing at Honda Motorcycle & Scooter said citing the Siam data for the month.
At the same time, the share of the scooters in its overall volume has gone up by 7 percentage points to 65 per cent in the month.
While Honda sold 2,10,123 lakh Activas last month, up from 1.98 lakh units a year ago, the immediate rival Maestro from Hero MotorCorp recorded a sales of 48,000 units in January.
Moreover, he said, all the Honda scooter models are in the top 10 selling scooter models in the month.
Activa topped the volume share for the fifth time this fiscal, having done so in June, July, August and October, Guleria told PTI.
Within the 2-wheeler space, the number two brand is Hero’s Splendor grossing 1.99 lakh units, massively down from 2.23 lakh a year ago. While the total bike sales witnessed a negative growth of 2 per cent Year To Date (YTD), the scooter sales grew 11 per cent and for Honda it was 13 per cent in the month.
However, the flip side is that Honda’s bike sales declined 15 per cent, as it could not meet the rising demand following a week-long plant shutdown for annual maintenance.
Guleria said led by the Activa success, the contribution of the scooter segment to overall industry has also grown by 2 percentage point to 30 per cent in the April-January period over the same period last fiscal.
The demand for the Activas has been such that it had a month’s waiting period all this while, especially for its automatic version. However, Guleria exuded confidence that they could bring down the waiting period drastically with the new 1.2 million scooters’ only plant going onstream last week in Gujarat.
On February 17, the company advanced the commissioning of its fourth plant in Gujarat, which also is the world’s largest scooters-only plant.
The first line of the plant with an installed capacity of 6 lakh is already onstream and is expected to reach its full potential over the next 45 days when it can roll out 22,000 units a day, Guleria said.
“The second line of similar capacity (6 lakh) will be onstream over the next three months, which will help company end the waiting period by September,” Guleria said.
When asked where does he see Honda with the new plant running, he said with more production of bikes and scooters, the overall market share should cross 35 per cent (for bikes).
On whether the company will recoup its market share in the bike space with the new launches, Guleria said two of their bikes are in the top league.
While the CB Shine tops the 125-cc segment, its 110-cc bike Livo launched in July has crossed the 1 lakh-mark in just five months at a time when the segment has degrown by 6 per cent.
On the new low-end bike Navi, priced at Rs 39,500, he said the response has been very good as they could get 8,000 bookings through the app alone, even though the commercial launch is due next month.
Student population in cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, etc has evinced great interest in the Navi, which was launched at the recent auto expo, he said.