Two-wheeler sales were muted in October because of a higher base in the corresponding period last year, with navratri and diwali being observed in the same month. Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, reported a 4.8% y-o-y decrease in volumes to 6,31,105 units during the month. Bajaj Auto reported a fall of 1% y-o-y to 2,11,553 units during the same period. In the first six months of the current financial year, sales of the economy segment motorcycles rose, benefitting Hero the most since almost 60% of its volumes come from rural markets.
During the period, Hero’s HF Deluxe volumes increased 33.65% y-o-y to 9,31,046 units while volumes for Splendor increased 5.88% y-o-y to 1,39,478 units. For Passion, volumes increased 2.11% to 5,17,381 units. In September, Hero’s wholesale volumes touched 7 million units for the first time ever. Bajaj, on the other hand, has seen subdued volumes in the economy segment offerings such as Platina and CT 100, while volumes in the premium segment, especially the Pulsar series, were flat. In the April-September period, domestic volumes of Bajaj in the two-wheeler segment decreased by 9% y-o-y to 12,22,112 units.
According to sector experts and executives, good monsoon rainfall will lead to a better harvest season, which will boost sales of economy segment motorcycles. “The automobile sector has witnessed gradual volume growth August onwards and this was partly led by pre-festive inventory filling and positive rural sentiment in key markets. Our channel checks suggest above-average volume growth in key rural markets during this festive season,” said analysts of Motilal Oswal in a report. According to data available from the SIAM, volumes in the motorcycle segment increased by 3% in FY17 while the same had declined by 0.26% in FY16.