Two wheeler Sector in Red for first time since 2009
Except for HMSI (Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India) and Suzuki, who posted a 39% and 36% growth respectively as compared to August 2011, rest of the two wheeler manufacturers are in red. The slowdown is the first since January 2009, with the overall Two wheeler segment being down by 5%.
The price rise coupled with the increase in interest rates has been cited as the reason for the slowdown by the industry.
For bikes and scooter owners the only option is petrol, which is getting expensive month by month and a price cut isn’t seen anywhere on the horizon. In fact, news of another hike has been doing rounds and may be implemented within next 24-48 hours (i.e. by 08th August 2012).
HMSI is attributing its success to its refined engine and the trust that they have established as a reliable brand in the form of Activa, Unicorn, Shine and CB Twister. Suzuki has basically relied on word of mouth publicity which made the Access and the GSR 150R, which though old still are reliable.
The two wheeler segment especially the motorcycle segment had shifted its focus from mileage to performance.
The promotion of 100cc segment took a backseat and the 150cc segment being marketed aggressively. Advertisement featured “0-60 kms” in bold rather than the usual “kmpl tag” which was the norm till a few years back.
Now TVS has again shifted its focus on the 100-110cc segment, in fact, TVS never stopped promoting the lower cc segment they just promoted the Apache series more.
Bajaj’s boxer is now a success in Africa and hence they are concentrating on that segment in the African market.
Honda sometime back launched a new wave of promo with Akshay Kumar as the ambassador, with the focus on the common man. Hero MotoCorp also had such promos but sadly it didn’t help much this time around. They have now tied up with a European design and tech partner, and have planned to launch about 10 new products.
This may or may not be a good thing depending upon the way they plan to launch the products. It will be better if they launch each two wheeler of different segment and with enough price difference between two products.
Electric scooters (Yo bikes) may not be able to capitalize on this opportunity given that they have a low range.
Government has already announced a $4.1 Billion push for green vehicles so if the companies do some R&D on the range covered per charge then electric will provide the consumers with an option. And of course green is the way to the future.