Honda has every reason to be pleased with its Activa scooter whose sales this fiscal crossed the one million unit mark. It is now comfortably posting sales of over two lakh units every month.
According to its manufacturer, HMSI (Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India), the Activa has also surpassed sales of all motorcycles and has emerged the largest selling two-wheeler in India this fiscal. From the company’s point of view, this must be especially comforting at a time it still has not made a significant breakthrough in its Dream range of motorcycles.
HMSI is now set to commission an all-scooter plant in Gujarat with an annual capacity of 1.2 million units. If Activa sales continue to keep with the present momentum, it is very likely that HMSI’s monthly scooter numbers will exceed three lakh units.
In the process, the company will also be hoping that scooters will quickly catch up with motorcycles and account for nearly 40 per cent of two-wheelers sold. For the moment, bikes are still ahead but there is no telling what could happen in the coming years. HMSI is also revving up its rural sales drive and this could see more scooters in the hands of customers.
With the market clearly shifting to scooters, other players have entered the fray. While TVS Motor and Hero MotoCorp are the closest rivals, others like Yamaha, Suzuki and Mahindra are also stepping on the gas. With its new plant in Chennai, Yamaha will be hoping to increase its scooter numbers and build its India presence.
Does all this mean that bikes will eventually lose out to scooters? Not everyone within the industry thinks this is likely as young buyers still like the feel and power of a motorcycle. This also explains why the premium bike segment dominated by the Bajaj Pulsar is still doing well.