Journey from Hero Honda to Hero v/s Honda

In 1984, Hero Cycles graduated from a Bicycle maker to a Motorcycle manufacturer by collaborating with Honda Motor Company Ltd of Japan. The first product post the collaboration agreement was launched in 1985 – named Hero Honda CD100. The rest we can say was history – By 2001, Hero Honda grew to be the world’s largest 2 wheeler company! The association churned many such milestones in the Indian market and became a household name pretty quickly. Like every marriage, this association had some bitter experiences in between and later could simply not cope up with the increasing differences. While Hero wanted to taste a bit of exports market and strengthen its inhouse R&D; Honda found it demeaning its global operations. The duo decided to separate ways and dissolve their Joint Venture in December 2010. The 26-year long pact ended on a quiet note with strong individual aspirations to dominate the local market.

Five years post the split, Honda Motorcycles did everything possible in the book to overtake the ex (Hero MotoCorp’s) dominance in the Indian market – though the effort was monumental and appreciable, the Japanese has still a long way to achieve the feat. The efforts taken by Honda for the attempt to become the market leader was mind-boggling. In past 5 years, it expanded its outlets from mere 800 nos to 4,500 sales outlets! In 2015, Honda’s global sales of all products was 28 million units out of which global 2wheeler sales stood at 17 million units. Today, 25% of the total Honda two-wheelers sold across the world come from India. 3 manufacturing plants were opened in last 4 years! – Plants opened at Tapukara Rajasthan (in 2011), Narsapura Karnataka (in 2013) and scooters only plant at Vithalpur Gujarat (2016). These drastic steps allowed HMSI to climb to a market share of over 26% and stand as a real threat to the Indian Leader (Hero Motocorp). See the climb for yourself here –

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Source: Business Standard

The competition was intensified with Hero Motocorp’s response in said time and the Indian MNC challenged HMSI in their own game – by attacking the baseline (scooters). Hero’s retaliation shook the Japanese major quite hard and the scooter market share statistics changed within 6-month time frame! –

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Source: Business Standard

In September last year, Hero expanded its scooter offering with the launch of two products — Duet and Maestro Edge. Until then, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker had two scooters to offer: Pleasure and Maestro. These scooters were indigenously developed by Hero’s R&D and the long term plan is to dominate the scooter market as well. Other players jumped into the game as well and have gained pretty significantly in past 1 year – say TVS’s Jupiter and Yamaha’s Fascino were instrumental in the growth story of their respective OEMs in the previous fiscal. The latest OEM-wise ranking and Market Share data is here –

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*FY16 (Apr’15-Feb’16) and FY15 (Apr’14-Feb’15)

Hero aware of the path ahead, has taken drastic measures to improve its R&D. It has set-up its first dedicated Rs 850-crore R&D centre last month. The 247-acre facility near Jaipur will have 600 engineers by the end of this year. Hero had a tiny three-acre R&D setup before the Jaipur centre came up. The centre will be led by Hero’s chief technology officer Markus Braunsperger, who came from BMW in 2014 after a 25-year-long stint in R&D, production and strategy roles.

See how both the biggies fare on various factors as on date:

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Source: Business Standard

While both Hero & Honda have intensified their efforts to command dominance in the domestic two wheeler market; the consumers are at advantage as they’ll receive world class products and their demand will be given paramount importance. We at Auto Punditz are happy to see the way two-wheeler industry is shaping in the subcontinent and wish that the better OEM will win the race!

Pet’rol’ v/s ‘Die’sel

Rohan, a resident of Mumbai wanted to buy a hatchback for his office commute and weekend family getaway. While he zeroed down on the Swift to suit his requirement; he was confused on which fuel option to opt for. While the office commute wasn’t much distant; he didn’t want the weekend getaways to cost dear. While this dilemma had been confusing the average Indian Car Buyer for long, the answer is much easier now. The Diesel is slowly losing its charm (rather competitive advantage) and petrol is strongly gaining acceptance due to the mentioned reasons –

  • Minimal Price Gap (Currently Diesel is priced Rs.48.33/ltr vis-a-vis Rs.59.68/ltr for Petrol)
  • Petrol Cars are easier and cheaper to maintain
  • Hefty difference in Petrol Variant On-Road prices v/s the Diesel counterpart
  • Better Drivability in city and Lighter Clutch on Petrol Cars
  • Lower Emissions in Petrol Cars
  • Easier availability of Automatic option in Petrol
  • The uncertainty of laws (who knows when Diesel cars can be banned!)

The statistics looks something like this:

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Maruti Swift Petrol v/s Diesel On-Road Price*

*prices referred from Carwale – Exshowroom Delhi

Hence, Rohan has to shell out Rs.1.34 Lakhs more if he opts for the diesel Swift (Vdi variant v/s similar spec Vxi). The cost difference will extrapolate even higher if the car is purchased on loan (interest amount being superior in this case). The cost saving in fuels would also not be considerable to recover the initial loss. Let us consider Rohan’s monthly travel to be 1500 kms (50 kms/day multiplied by 30 days); the average monthly fuel expense will work out to be –

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Rohan will end up saving Rs.2143/mth in Diesel car v/s the Petrol (Realistic <not ARAI> Mileage values are taken for calculation). Hence to recover the initial loss of Rs.1.34 Lakhs; Rohan will have to wait 5.23 years considering the above calculation! The waiting time will get even higher if interest costs are considered.

Hence, Rohan undoubtedly ends up opting the Petrol car as his purchase and similarly many other consumers are following this trend. The same is clearly evident in the sales graph this year – while sale of Diesel Passenger Vehicles degrew by 6.22%; Petrol Car Sales saw a resurgent growth of 15.27%. Petrol variants contributed to over 56% in FY16 and we expect the contribution to grow much stronger in FY17. The detailed chart highlighting the Fuel-wise contribution percentage –

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Source: ET

While the topic has been debatable for quite some time, India had always been a big market for small petrol cars. That’s why the Alto has been the numero uno selling car in the sub-continent and currently globally as well. But, the global sales trend has been varied across nations. We could find the consolidated list of best-sellers across the world here –

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Source: India Today

Indian Car Sales Figures – March 2016

Last FY (Apr’15-Mar’16), passenger vehicle sales in India registered a stellar growth of 7.87% – reportedly highest in past 5 years! The growth was undoubtedly fueled by new launches (say Creta, Kwid, Baleno, TUV300, Jazz, KUV100, etc). Let’s compare the performance of OEM’s if the new launches were not there –

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  • In the above chart, Maruti yet again proves why it has remained the market leader for decades now in the sub-continent. It has been able to register a 5.2% growth even if the Nexa (S-Cross & Baleno) and Brezza volumes are taken away. This year Maruti also neared its all-time highest Market Share and closed at 47% MS. The Market Share increase in this tough business scenario has just been appreciable and their focus on their entire portfolio has been the key.  A look at the leader’s game :
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Source: Business Standard
  • Hyundai had a tremendous year as well – while Grand i10, Elite i20 broke new records in sales, Creta was able to set higher benchmarks in Premium-SUV category this Financial Year.
  • FY15 was pretty tough for Mahindra and had moved M&M to the forth spot; however M&M turned the table in FY16 and was able to successfully launch 3 new products this FY – TUV 300, KUV100 & Nuvosport. But the concern area remains on the dependency on the new models. Without the new launched, Mahindra would experienced a fall of 11.4% in sales!
  • The story for Honda remains similar to Mahindra, and the Japanese MNC was able to sustain volumes only due to the New Jazz! If we take out Jazz numbers; Honda would have de-grew 20.3% YoY!
  • One Product Wonders played the game for Ford & Renault. Kwid and Aspire helped the respective OEMs to grow or else they would have been in a tough position in the Indian market.

Model-wise Figures for Mar’16 –

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March 2016 car sales data

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Brezza shipments were initiated last month and in the first month itself, it overtook Ecosport and TUV300’s numbers. Maruti has near to 1800 sales outlets – so just only 1 Brezza to each outlet would have helped Brezza garner 1800 shipments! As on date Maruti has received 40,000 bookings for Brezza (near to 22 bookings/outlet). Considering the initial response, we see the Compact-SUV to be the next big thing this year!
  • Mahindra did the makeover to Quanto and termed it Nuvosport (find any resemblance to the name Ecosport?). Around 1299 Nuvosport’s were dispatched in the first month and the SUV was launched on 4th April. Can it fight the mighty Ecosport & Brezza (also the sibling TUV300)?
  • Renault’s Kwid could make a grand entry in Top 5 with sales of 9743 units. It is also the highest ever a Renault car has been placed in the list of best-selling cars for the month. Nearly two-thirds of Renault’s total current sales currently come from the Kwid.
  • Celerio, New Endeavour and Camry grew notably in Mar’16 vis-a-vis Mar’15. While the diesel option is working wonders for Celerio, the New Endeavour has become the real competition to the mighty Fortuner (which incidentally degrew 71%)!
  • Tiago numbers were Zero. We wonder how.

March 2016 Car Sales – Snapshot

OEM-wise Sales Data

March traditionally is a good month for the Auto Industry and it did experience a growth of over 5%! Renault, Ford & Mahindra stood as the biggest gainers of March and again fueled by the stellar new product performance. Kwid, Aspire & KUV100 proved to be the saviors for the respective OEMs and helped them gain a double digit growth in the tough business environment. Amongst the luxury car makers, Volvo stood out in the crowd with a respectable YoY growth. The Swedish car maker launched the S60 Cross Country last month and currently has 7 models in its portfolio (S60 sedan, S80 saloon, V40 luxury hatchback, V40 Cross Country, XC60 SUV and XC90—the 6 seater SUV). We are sure that the surge in business shall encourage the Swedish OEM to assemble cars in India (Unlike other luxury car firms Volvo doesn’t assemble any model locally. All of them are fully imported.). In luxury segment, Mercedes again led the pack with the highest volume in luxury cars segment. Mar’16 also saw the launch of Mercedes Benz S100 from the German Luxury car maker.

March 2016 also witnessed the end of the financial year – hence a lot of these OEMs would have tried to rationalize their target achievement and would’ve pushed for more volumes. We also present the entire Financial Year performance of these OEM’s here –

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Biggest Gainers of FY16
  • Renault drove to the top backed by Kwid’s success and delivers a >65% growth in FY16! The French Automaker is now trying hard to gain volumes in the higher margin maker Duster for sustainability.
  • Porsche though with low volumes,  makes itself visible in the growth department – the luxury SUV models (particularly Cayenne) has helped it significantly.
  • Hyundai & Maruti emerge as the only 2 Carmakers to have a double-digit Market Share in India! Both of them combined command a Market Share of envious 64%. While other OEMs have put everything to gain a piece of Indian Market, these 2 OEMs are holding their fort pretty well and are giving a tough fight to the bigger OEMs.
  • Maruti has reached its ever highest Market Share in past 10 years and the Nexa strategy has paid it off quite well! The Indo-Japanese car maker don’t stop surprising us with the tricks they got to offer for the Indian Market – the latest addition being the compact-SUV Brezza which will shoot their hold of Market Share in the coming months.
  • It was a comeback year for the homegrown SUV-major Mahindra. The Indian MNC dethroned Honda from the third spot with a good margin. Mahindra’s product-offensive strategy (launch of TUV300, KUV100)worked wonders for the company and the volume jump helped it strengthen its slot in the third place!

A look at the Top 10 sellers of March 2016 (detailed model-wise data to be posted shortly) –

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Source: ET

Indian 2 Wheeler Sales Figures – Feb 2016

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Source: AutocarPro

Feb’16 saw a positive surprise from the Two-wheeler stable as the industry grew a healthy 12.76%. As healthy monsoon is expected this year; we foresee the momentum to continue and build up strongly in coming months. Bajaj’s INS Vikrant byproduct V 15’s shipment started off last month and 1,442 units were shipped to dealers in the first lot. Also notable launch of February was the Street Twin from Triumph – it will be the entry level offering from Britain’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. Launched at Rs.6.9 Lakhs, this 900cc bike contributed to 76% of Triumph’s sale last month! A look at the model-wise sales –

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Royal Enfield, Yamaha & Bajaj led the pack with stupendous YoY growth figures. Also these statistics were quite trivial for Feb –

  • Hero Motocorp again emerged as India’s largest 2-wheeler manufacturer with a Market Share of 39.4%
  • Honda Motorcycles India was a close second with a 25.7% Market Share. Hence the Top 2 manufacturers (Hero+Honda) over 65% of 2-wheeler Market share in India!
  • Honda’s dependency on scooters still prevail – Activa alone contributes to 60% of Honda’s sale in India!
  • Yamaha slowly strengthening its foothold in scooters and is reaping benefits – Fascino becomes its 2nd best selling product (after the FZ) and the scooterette portfolio (Fascino+Ray+Alpha) overtakes the bike sales (Saluto+FZ+R15+SZ) in Feb’16! Scooters contribution to Yamaha sales was 50.3%!
  • Bajaj still sets benchmark in premium bikes category – the Avenger portfolio crossed 30k units in Feb’16 (more than the Discover sales)! No wonder it has been one of the most profitable 2-wheeler entities in India.
  • Bajaj also has the entry level CT making an entry into the Top 10 list!
  • Harley’s cheapest offering – the Street 750 contributes to over 58% of Feb’16 sales for Harley Davidson in India. Also notable was Fat Boy’s performance last month – hefty 161% YoY growth!
  • Hero’s 3 entry level bikes – HF Deluxe, Splendor & Passion contributed to over 70% of Hero Motocorp’s sales! Also these stand tall in the Top 5 selling 2-wheelers list as well.
  • Hero loses out in the scooters race and none of Hero’s scooter offering could make an entry to the Top 10 list. Also TVS’s Jupiter emerges as the only scooter apart from Activa to be on the Top 10 table!
  • Moped (XL Super) proves to be the unicorn in TVS’s stable and still lists as the 5th selling 2-wheeler in India. However, Honda hopes to turn things around in this segment with Navi (dispatches started from 19 Mar’16).  Interesting name (NAVI – New Additional Value for India) and an interesting concept indeed (India’s first crossover two-wheeler)!
  • Mahindra’s flagship offering Mojo could sell only 96 units in Feb’16 – the condition remains similarly concerning for its other siblings. M&M is trying to revive volumes with the new Gusto 125, but things remain hazy for this manufacturer.
  • Continental GT remains the only offering from RE to suffer continuous de-growth! The cafe racer concept is yet to catch the fancy of Indian biking enthusiasts.
Honda Navi
Honda Navi (Shot from the Auto Expo)

Top 10 models in Feb’16 v/s Feb’15 –

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