Chennai/New Delhi: When the tiny Tata Nano was launched in March 2009, many trade analysts wrote obituaries to the Indian Motorcycle industry. A year and half later, the industry has quietly crossed the milestone of selling one million motorcycles a month.
According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, home-grown manufactures sold 10,09,554 bikes both in India and abroad in October.
“When the Tata Nano was launches, there wsa talk that it was the end of the road for motorcycles. I believed that the Nano would create a new market for four wheelers and not eat into bike sales. It was the right assumption,” said Venu Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, TVS Motor.
Of the two-wheelers sold in October, one million were motorcycles, and the rest scooters and mopeds. In the motorcycle segment, sales of bigger bikes (150cc and above) – priced within striking distance of the Nano – is witnessing a growth rate of over 50% said HS Goindi, head of marketing, TVS.
The industry believes bike sales will continue to remain strong in the coming years. “A number of factors work in favour of bikes,” said Milind Bade, head of marketing at Bajaj Auto. “An important one is the low penetration of two wheelers in India. The rural region, where 75% of our population lives, has sub – 10% penetration while overall penetration is below 20%.”
Bade also said that rising disposable incomes coupled with inadequate infrastructure will keep the demand high for personal mobility vehicles like bikes. “Two-wheeler sales have seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12% over the last 10 years and there is no reason why it should not grow at similar pace in the coming years,” he said.
This is a view shared by N.K.Rattan, operating head (sales & marketing) at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India. “The pace at which we are growing is sustainable and I see no reason why the industry should not grow by two digits over the coming years.”
While Srinivasan is “delighted” that two-wheeler sales have crossed a million a month, he said that the current growth rate of 26% might not be sustained in the long run. “The industry will grow at 12% to 15% next year. Rising interest rates will have a gradual negative effect on two-wheeler sales,” he said.
As per Times of India News