India April. Market reported the deepest fall in years, while Bajaj Auto shines

Indian Motorcycles Market

Indian Two-Wheeler Market scored the deepest fall in years in April with sales declined 16.6% and with year to date figures down in double-digit. However, while Hero and Honda lost terrain, TVS and Bajaj Auto gained volumes and share, both reporting a substantial gain in their global sales. KTM is the premium brands leader, while Harley Davidson is struggling.


Market Trend

The start of the 2019 was not positive for the Indian two-wheeler market and the growing was broken, first time after two years.

Indeed sales have been reported at 1.684.535, down 5.3% in January and at 1.612.059 (-4.4%) in February, before to really fall in March with 1.435.439 units, down an unexpected 14.7%. First quarter figures are 4.643.201, down 8.1%.

The start of the second quarter was even worse, with April sales at 1.634.422 reporting the deepest fall in the last years, down in double-digit (-16.6%), with year to date figures at 6.27 million units (-10.5%). 

Looking at the single brand performance, while the top 2 are losing the second two followers are gaining. Indeed, the market leader Hero sold 2.29 million units year to date, down 12.1%.

In second place Honda sold 1.46 million units, losing a sharp 27.9%, while in third place TVS reported a gain of 5.8% with 956.402 sales.

The best performer was the fourth player Bajaj Auto with 794.452 motorcycles sales (commercial vehicles not included), up a roaring 16.2%. Note that KTM models produced by Bajaj and sold in India are not included in these figures, but reported separately under KTM brand.

As reported separately, the domestic performance runs jointly with record export, projecting the 2019 to be the new best ever year for Bajaj Auto, despite the decline of domestic market volumes.

In fifth place Royal Enfield with 248.609 sales (-16.1%) ahead of Yamaha with 243.981 (-3.9%) and Suzuki with 236.186 (+24.0%)

Leader among the premium brands is KTM (locally produced and distributed by Bajaj), up 16.8%, while Harley Davidson has lost a huge 34.9%.


Market Pathway

The Indian Motorcycles Market is the largest in the World since the 2016 when it overtook the Chinese.

The market is growing uninterruptedly in the last 20 years. The milestone of 10 million annual sales had been achieved in the 2010 and only eight years later, in the 2018, a new milestone of 20 million annual sales has been broken.

Ending the year with total sales at 21.5 million, in the 2018 the market performed really well improving by 8.5% from the previous year and hitting the new all time record.

The Indian market was the second to hit the “over 20 million sales” milestone after the Chinese – now dropped below this wire – expanding the gap over all others markets and representing near the 30% of the global two-wheeler vehicles sales.

During the 2018, the market leader Hero sold 7.83 million units (+2.7%) and thanks to this results the brand was able to hit the record of over 8 million global sales (India + export sales). The recovery in rural demand translated into healthy growth in Hero’s strong hold entry sub-segment of motorcycles, which accounts for close to 60% of the total segment. The manufacturer continued to maintain its dominance in the domestic motorcycle segment while the relatively weak presence in the fast-expanding scooter segment penalized the total performance, underperforming the industry.

In second place there was Honda with a record of 5.88 million sales (+7.9%). As already seen in the 2017, Honda has achieved impressive market share gains in both the motorcycle and scooter segments, thereby expanding its share in the overall two-wheeler pie and inching closer to the market leader. Scooters remain be main strength for the brand, which improved the segment share supported by continued strong demand for its Activa model.

In third place the second Indian manufacturer, TVS, with 3.05 million sales (+13.2%), performing better than the market increasing its presence across all product segments.

In fourth place Bajaj Auto with 2.38 million sales (+17.4%), a great performance considering the weakness of this manufacturer in the fast growing scooter segment.



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