Plans to consolidate its place in the motorcycle market by pitting the Dream Yuga, to be launched next month, against Hero MotoCorp’s Splendor
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the Indian subsidiary of Honda Motor Company, last year grew the fastest among two-wheeler companies in the country — at double the rate logged by the industry.
The company’s overall growth has come in spite of its minuscule presence in the entry-level (100cc-125cc) segment, in which market leader Hero MotoCorp (formerly Hero Honda) commands two-thirds of the market.
The entry-level segment accounts for a lion’s share — 70 per cent — of the domestic motorcycle market. It had seen sales of nearly 7.1 million units last financial year (2011-12), a year in which Indians bought 10.09 million motorcycles — more than any market in the world except China.
The Delhi-based Hero MotoCorp has thrived in the entry segment due to the success of its Splendor, Passion and CD Dawn/Deluxe brands — Splendor being the world’s largest selling two-wheeler brand. Hero has a total of nine models in this segment, the most by any manufacturer.
Though Honda has three models on sale in the entry-level segment — Stunner, Shine and Twister (all below 125cc) — it commands only two per cent market share with sales of 142,000 units, compared with Hero’s 5.32 million units.
Propelled by new products and a stronger brand recall, Hero managed to clock a growth of 16 per cent in the entry segment, even as sales of all other peers dwindled. Bajaj Auto, the second-largest in the segment posted a drop of 2.65 per cent, while TVS Motors saw a drop of 7.5 per cent. Honda’s growth in the segment dropped 14.33 per cent.
One of the reasons behind HMSI’s sales drop in this segment was the absence of products from its stable in the price Rs 41,000-44,000 bracket, where Hero’s Splendor and CD Dawn/Deluxe sell. HMSI’s entry motorcycle Twister is priced at Rs 45,140 (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
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|Source: Company, Dealers
All prices ex-showroom Delhi;
Yuga price for a mid-range model, according to sources