Moped sales in the country dropped 25.58 per cent between April and October, hurt by poor demand in the rural market where the cheap light-powered vehicle is used for travel and carrying goods.
TVS Motor Company, the only company in India to manufacture mopeds, said exports dropped by nearly 40 per cent in the same period but it’s confident the sales will improve when Bharat Stage (BS) VI fuel emission norms are introduced next year.
Domestic moped sales dropped to 3,92,586 units in April-October from 5,27,505 units a year ago, according to numbers put out by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Moped exports dropped by 39.86 per cent to 8,232 units from 13,688 units, a year.
Scooter sales in the same period dropped by 15.90 per cent to 36,97,553 units from 43,96,446 units, while motorcycles sales dropped by 15.34 per cent to 73,63,858 units from 86,98,044 units, a year ago.
K N Radhakrishnan, director and chief executive officer at TVS, attributed the drop in two-wheeler sales to weak demand in the rural market.
“Higher insurance premium has led to on-road prices going up by nearly 12 per cent, and it started creating a huge problem and huge discounting in the economy—(the) motorcycles segment has also impacted the sales,” he said during a recent investors call.
"We have added value (to mopeds) in terms of electric start. And today I am very happy that 90 per cent of our moped sales come from electric start, okay. And I am pretty confident when the rural market starts coming back, moped will come back in a big way.”
"As the rural starts coming back, we are pretty confident that the customers definitely will come forward to moped because moped has got certain unique advantages vis-à-vis other products," said Radhakrishnan, adding that the vehicle will be designed to meet BS-VI norms.