Going by the trends at the Auto Expo, two-wheeler makers seem to be focusing on premium motorcycles and scooters, which they feel are going to be high growth areas. Unlike car manufacturers, two-wheeler players currently do not have any major plans of going electric. , known for its entry-level motorcycles and its high level of penetration in rural markets, said it currently wants to focus on the premium motorcycles and scooters segment. The company unveiled two 125cc scooters, the Maestro Edge 125 and the Duet 125, at the expo. Both of them will be launched in the next fiscal. It also introduced Xpulse, a 200cc motorcycle, with which the company aims to take away market share from Bajaj Auto and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) in the premium segment.
Pawan Munjal, CEO and managing director, Hero MotoCorp, said: “Both these, the 125cc scooters and the 200cc adventure motorcycle, are new segments for us. We are therefore confident of further expanding our market leadership with these new launches.” HMSI launched its fourth new product of the fiscal, 160cc Xblade, at the expo. It also launched the fifth generation of its flagship Activa. Minoru Kato, CEO, HMSI, said, “We have the Hornet and we have the Unicorn already, but the premium segment is growing very fast, for which we needed a new model.”
Other two wheeler makers are also inclined towards these segments. India Yamaha Motor said it will invest `100 crore in three years time to expand its portfolio in these segments. It launched 155cc bike YZF-R15 at the expo. Suzuki too, unveiled a 125cc scooter, Burgman Street, and a 750cc motorcycle, GSX-S 750. Hero Motocorp, which also acquired Ather Energy in 2016, said EVs for the company are only at a development stage, a commercial launch is not planned. Similarly, HMSI and Suzuki, though said they intend to bring out EVs in India, highlighted that regulatory clarity is still not there for them to make concrete plans.
By Deepak Kumar & Arun Nayal