Led by its flagship Activa scooter, the countrys largest selling two-wheeler, Honda, has contributed a whopping 81 per cent of the incremental scooter industry volume in the June quarter, boosting its market share by 200 basis points to its highest-ever levels, show data from industry body Siam.
During the quarter, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has sold 9,04,647 Activas against 8,24,999 units of Splendor, Hero MotorCorp’s best-seller and once the country’s top-selling motorcycle model.
Surprisingly, despite the increase in motorcycle momentum due to return of rural buying, Activa continues to lead the industry.
The top-selling scooter is the only two-wheeler to breach the 9 lakh sales mark in a quarter with a gap of 79,648 units between it and the No 2, shows the Siam data.
However, this is much lower than the best-ever volume gap that Activa had notched up against Splendor in the September 2017 quarter with a difference of 2,38,004 units, selling 9,51,186 Activas against 7,13,182 Splendors. Activa overtook the Splendor back in May 2016 as No. 1 and has since, maintained the top position. It took Activa 17 years to become the No 1 two-wheeler brand not just in the country but globally as well.
Y S Guleria, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, HMSI, said the June 2018 quarter was the best-ever for Honda both in terms of domestic volume and exports since it began independent operations in 2011 after breaking its decades of partnership with Hero.
“For the first time, our total sales have crossed 18 lakh units in a quarter. During the quarter Activa vroomed 40 per cent faster than the industry, which grew only 14 per cent.
“This has seen us contributing as much as 81 per cent of the scooter volume in the quarter,” Guleria told PTI over phone from Delhi.
Overall, scooters added a total 1,70,545 incremental units to close at total 18,18,235 units in June quarter. While Honda’s scooter sales rose by 1,38,210 units to 11,11,935 units, TVS added 25,353 units and maintained its market share. The biggest drop in scooter sales came from Hero, falling by 20,565 units to 1,89,225 units. The quarter also saw Honda clocking the best ever volume for bikes selling 1,74,258 motorcycles, a growth of 20 per cent.
During the June quarter, Honda volumes grew at a healthy 16 per cent to 18.04 million units, while Heros volume touched 2.1 million units.
When asked whether Honda is confident of keeping the momentum, given the forthcoming festival season, Guleria answered in affirmative, saying “despite our capacity constraint we are hopeful of meeting any incremental demand.” “We are in the middle of an internal study to assess how we can increase efficiencies at the fourth assembly line in our Bangalore plant.
“We’re checking whether there is a room to increase the volume before the onset of the festival demand and we hope to do something about increasing the capacity at the existing facilities,” he said.