India. Two-wheeler sales felt in December for the thirteenth consecutive month

Indian two-wheeler market felt down again in December for the thirteenth consecutive month ending the 2018 with over 3 million units below the record established in the previous year, down 14.4%. All top brands have lost a part Suzuki, which gained to place in the ranking scoring the new all time sales record.

Market Trend

Motorcycle sales in India skyrocketed over the past few years, making the country the biggest motorcycle market in the World overtaking China since the 2016 and achieving a record volume of 22.4 million units (including commercial three-wheeler) in the 2018. 

During the 2012-2018 period over 124 million of new bikes have been sold in the country with annual increase of 8 million units, a too fast growth for a country with still poor urban and extra-urban infrastructures.

Starting from the last quarter 2018 the market is showing a downward trend and with the last, thirteenth consecutive month of fall are counted. 

The 2019 was quite negative losing near 3 million units from the previous year with final sales at 19.1 million units (-14.4%), at the third all-time best level.

Please note that within these data there are the two-wheelers, bot ICE and Electric, and three-wheelers (rickshaw).

The electric scooter segment for which the Government just raised a target to grow at 20 millions units in the next 5 years, dropped over 40%. To understand more, please read the dedicated report.

Several factors causing the slowdown, including an increase in insurance premium in 2018 and the new BS-VI emission norms taking effect in April 2020. This led experts to suggest people were waiting for the discounts on BS-IV models and for more BS-VI-compliant models to land in the showrooms. However, the price of BS-VI model could be higher than the current.

So, while other observers forecast the sales to continue slipping for a few more months and to bounce back up once the new emission standards are introduced. we are more negative, considering the impact of expected new regulamentations necessary to shift the manufacturers focus toward the government 2025 target of 90% electric vehicles production and sales.


Competitive Arena

India’s four biggest motorcycle manufacturers posted lower sales numbers in 2019 than they did in 2018 confirming they all have lost momentum.

The market leader, Hero, ended the year with 6.78 million sales, losing 1.1 million units from the previous year record. The arch-rival, Honda sold 4.9 million two-wheeler, losing 16.7% or 1 million units, while the third, TVS reported 2.82 million sales (including rickshaw), down 8.9% after having closed the first half in positive territory.

In fourth place Bajaj Auto with 2.55 million motorcycles and rickshaw sold, down 7.8%. In our Database the KTM models produced in India by Bajaj are not included in these figures, but reported separately under KTM brand (which improved 27%).

In fifth place, Suzuki gained two position establishing the new record in this market with 707.468 sales, up a remarkable 12.5%

Behind, Royal Enfield with 693.000 sales (-18.0%) followed by Yamaha with 659.000 (-16.9%) and Piaggio with 189.362 (-9.8%).

Looking at premium brands, the leader is KTM (locally produced and distributed by Bajaj) with 57.768 sales, up 27%.

BMW keeps booming, after the July 2018 local plant opening and ranks as 11th with 4.600 units. Probably India will be within the top 10 countries this year for the German brand!

Harley Davidson is struggling, losing 24.2% of sales.

Indian Motorcycles Market
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