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Cars sputter while scooters roar in Oct

Our Bureau | Updated on November 13, 2014

Increase in sale of two-wheelers by 10 per cent shows changing buyer preference

Carmakers would have been despondent when SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) put out its October sales early this week.

Sales had fallen by 2.55 per cent to 1.59 lakh units while this was steeper in utility vehicles which plummeted 15 per cent to 48,465 units.

Numbers game

Two-wheeler sales were down too with October sales totalling 1.46 million units, a fall of 3.61 per cent from 1.51 million units in the same month last year.

However, scooters bucked the trend with numbers up by 10.89 per cent to 3.84 (3.46) lakh units, a clear indication of changing buyer preference.

This was even more apparent in cumulative sales (April-October) this fiscal where scooters have jumped 28.45 per cent to 2.57 million units from a little over two million units last fiscal.

Bike sales have seen a comparatively modest increase of 7.97 per cent (albeit on a larger base) from 6.12 million to 6.6 million units.

However, their exports have seen a significant leap of 21.56 per cent to 1.36 million units from 1.12 million units in the period of April-October last year.

Main players

It is clear that in the domestic market, scooters are drawing more buyers with Honda’s Activa leading the fray with monthly sales of over two lakh units. TVS Motor and Hero MotoCorp are its two main rivals even though their combined sales are still lower than the Japanese automaker.

Honda will enhance its scooter production by at least one lakh units a month when its Gujarat plant goes on stream in early 2016.

By this time, scooters will take up over 35 per cent of total two-wheelers sold in India and this proportion will only increase during the course of this decade.

Looking ahead

This fiscal will see two-wheeler production touch 17 million units and industry experts believe numbers will be up at least ten per cent annually. By 2020, India will be rolling out nearly 30 million bikes and scooters every year. It remains to be seen how the customer mix will pan out though it would be logical to assume that the share of scooters would be nearly 50 per cent by then.

Published on November 13, 2014

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