While the number of Harleys sold between April and November last year stood at 1,258, the numbers shot up to 3,123 in the same period this year. (Reuters)
High-end luxury bikes are the newest toys India’s rich want to get their hands on. In the eight-month period from April to November this year, the sale of such bikes — Harley Davidson of the US and Triumph of the UK — saw a three-fold jump over the figures of the same period last year.
While the number of Harleys sold between April and November last year stood at 1,258, the numbers shot up to 3,123 in the same period this year. The corresponding number for 2012 stood at 754.
Triumph bikes, which made their entry into India in November 2013, sold 969 units in the eight months of the current financial year, taking the aggregate sales for the two high-end bikes from 1,258 in 2013 to 4,092 this year. While a Harley costs between Rs 4.3 lakh and Rs 30 lakh in India, the Triumph is priced between Rs 5.8 lakh and Rs 21 lakh.
It’s not just figures for luxury bikes that are revving up. In 2014, 74.6 lakh bikes were sold in the eight-month period, a rise of 6.6 per cent over the corresponding period last year, as per data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Bikes that are powered with engines of over 250 cc — sports bikes such as Kawasaki Ninja and Royal Enfield — saw a 69 per cent jump in demand, from 1,27,382 units in 2013 to 2,15,353 this year. It’s the Royal Enfield bikes that led this surge.
The bike witnessed a 70 per cent jump in demand this year, from 1.2 lakh bikes in the eight-month period last year to 2.05 lakh bikes this year.
The demand for bikes powered with engines of up to 125 cc rose by only 5.5 per cent this year, showing a weak demand for low-powered engine bikes.
Experts say a lot of these high growth numbers are a result of a low base, and the sector will continue to grow rapidly as buyers’ decision is not impacted by high interest rates.
“The base is low and also there has been a rise in the number and the spending ability of people who buy them.
Mostly they are middle-aged executives in the sunrise sectors or entrepreneurs, and their decision is not impacted by high interest rate or the state of the economy,” said Abdul Majeed, an auto expert with Pricewaterhouse LLP.
He also said that improved infrastructure and road connectivity between cities has fuelled a demand for luxury bikes.