Companies are also constantly working on research and development to bring out bikes with better features.
Motorcycle buyers are slowly shifting to powerful bikes with a moderate mileage. The rise in sales of 125 cc bikes show mere mileage is not just enough to sell the bike. Even the manufactures are also launching new models and variants around 125 cc, making the customers to choose only from powerful bikes. Two years ago, 100 cc bikes used to enjoy the market share of 73 per cent, which over time declined to 66 per cent. The growth rate of the 100 cc bikes in last fiscal had hovered around 9 per cent while the B and C segment (125 cc and above) had 18 per cent growth while the industry grew only by 6 per cent.
The B-segment bikes (125cc) alone grew by 38 per cent and remained to be the fastest growing segment. “A lot of customers who are purchasing their second or third bike want to upgrade to a bike with better features (125cc and above),” said K. Srinivas, President, Bajaj Two-wheelers.
The companies are also constantly working on research and development to bring bikes with better features. Bajaj has launched Pulsar 200 NS with triple spark technology, which increases the power of the bike without compromising on the mileage. Generally, the increase in power for the bike decreases the fuel efficiency. However the company maintained to offer same mileage as previous pulsar model.
Earlier in 2004, Bajaj had launched DTSi technology in its pulsar which brought fuel efficient 150 cc engines to the market.
The R&D in the motorcycle industry has brought many value added features but could not produce high fuel efficient bikes in the A segment. The best of the vehicles at 100cc only give 70 km per litre in the city traffic roads. The rising petrol costs also burning the pockets of the middle class. “The petrol price is beyond any manufacturer. People will continue to go to office or for leisure even at the high fuel prices. These prices may hit the car market but not the two wheeler market,” said R Chandrasekhar, general manager, marketing and sales, Bajaj Auto.
The industry for the first time sold 1 crore bikes in last fiscal with a 6 per cent growth rate. “The motorcycle segment base has increased over time and continuing the growth rate after reaching certain volumes is difficult. Even the macro economic conditions like slowdown in the growth of economy and overall spending of the consumer has also decreased. However, for the customers who want better bikes, the economy doesn’t matter which is why we are launching new models,” he added.
- Hero Motocorp
- Baja Auto
- HMSI (Honda)
- TVS Motors