India rides on 2 wheels and this is supported by the fact that the world’s largest 2 wheeler market continues to post a growth of 10% amongst the downturn. With 7 auto majors fighting it out for a bigger share of the pie, the competition is all set to get hotter. The recently concluded Auto Expo 2014 was abuzz with a slew of new launches lined up to excite the ever demanding Indian consumer. 2014 is surely bound to be a defining year for the Indian 2 wheeler industry.
Mahindra 2 Wheelers make a very strong comeback by riding on the success of its flagship Centuro and posts a 207% growth YoY. Yes! Yamaha does it right again in Feb’14 and has a 32.5% growth. Also HMSI grows leaps and bounds consistently and does a 43.8% growth. We’ll not be surprised to see HMSI with its aggressive approach for the subcontinent challenges the numero uno position off Hero Moto Corp in coming time!
1. Hero Moto Corp: Mr. Anil Dua, Sr. Vice President (Marketing & Sales), HMCL, said “We have been consistently selling over five lakh units every month, and this is clearly indicative of the inherent market demand that exists for our products.” The world’s largest 2 wheeler OEM has posted a flat growth of 0.6% this month. Hero has showcased the upgrades for Passion, Xtreme, Karizma and ZMR. Along with this the 125cc scooter and the soon to be launched HX250R is expected to stir up the competition in the expanding scooter segment.
2. Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India: HMSI changed the Indian mindset by offering the Activa and it still continues to have a strong hold in the ever increasing scooter segment. This has a strong contribution in the 43.8% growth that the Gurgaon based OEM has posted. The Motorcycle division contributed 1,52,487 units (compared to 108533 in Feb’13) and the scooter division contributed 1,76,034 units (compared to 119911 in Feb’13). The auto expo saw the launch of the Activa 125 scooter. Along with this HMSI displayed the CBR650R and the CBR500R both of which will make inroads to India. HMSI seems to be slowly bringing its performance motorcycles courtesy its Japanese based mother company.
3. Bajaj Auto: Bajaj Auto continues to struggle in the Indian market by posting a 6% degrowth for the third consecutive month. However Bajaj has seen a 5% increase in exports this month with 1,42,009 units (against 1,35,149 units in Feb’13). Interestingly, a company whose foundations were built on the scooter segment is still not looking to capture the ever increasing scooter segment in India. The auto expo also highlighted Bajaj’s clear intention to stay as a motorcycle company by showcasing the interesting looking CS400 and the SS400 bikes. Along with this the news of the Pulsar 200SS and the KTM RC390 and KTM RC200 expected to be launched this year the Pune based OEM is expected to take Indian Motorcycling to the next level and post positive figures. However, it will be interesting to note how long Mr. Rajiv Bajaj will stay back from exploring his options in the scooter segment- only time can tell!
4. TVS Motors: The Chennai based manufacturer has seen a growth of 5.9% with the major contribution coming from the scooter segment. With Scooty continuing to rule the sub 100cc market and the Wego giving tough competition to Activas and Dios, we can see some good fight in this segment. With its new launch of the Jupiter and a refresh on the Wego and the 100cc Scooty Zest lined up for launch, TVS is all set to fight hard! The auto expo saw the OEM flex its muscles in the performance segment with the 300cc sports version of the Apache and the 250cc Draken-X21 concept with killer looks. The Graphite-an automatic scooter with paddle shift tech also made its way to the stand highlighting the manufacturers increased focus in the scooter segment.
5. Yamaha:Yamaha posted a healthy 32% growth this year and the major contributors were the performance segment and the scooter segment (Ray). The company has seen returns from its investment in the Ray and the market has accepted the scooter well. Sources have said that YMI is working on a 150cc version of the Ray. The OEM has already launched the 110cc Alfa. Yamaha has always been giving a stiff competition to the king of performance segment- the Pulsar with its FZ series and R-15 and the Fazer. With the R-25 a 250cc performance bike debuting internationally, we can expect Yamaha to bring it to India to heat up the competition.
6. Suzuki:Suzuki has a rather dull year with the company posting a de growth this year. Suzuki had a strong hold in the scooter market with the Access 125. However with no refresh and a relatively dull looks, am afraid the competition has got the better of the OEM. Even in the motorcycle division, the company had no products to pull the crowd. They had to use the Hayabusa and intruder to pull some enquiries to the showroom. The auto expo saw the launch of a brand new scooter- Lets 110 and the 150cc Gixxer which had some good muscular looks. It also launched a high end motorcycle Inazuma and the V-storm with a steep 15 lakh price tag.
7. Mahindra 2 wheelers: After struggling for so long with the 2 wheeler segment MTWL seems have got it right finally. With the Centuro getting some good response from the market for its attractive and very innovative features never seen in Indian motorcycles. The Centuro has also won a slew of awards which further highlights the prowess of the bike. Another major aspect is that MTWL has increased its dealer network which has increased the number of touch points aiding to increase in sales. The Mumbai based manufacturer also took the covers off its 300cc Mojo Motorcycle during the auto expo. With the company pointed in the right direction we can see some “innovative” bikes from their stable in the days to come.
(Profile of the Author: 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.)