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Bajaj beats Hero to become India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer

The maker of Pulsar and Chetak sells more vehicles outside of India than in India.

June 03, 2020 / 11:15 PM IST

Covid-19 has brought about the biggest upset in the leaderboard of two-wheeler vehicle segment in India. Bajaj Auto has gone past Hero MotoCorp to become India’s largest two-wheeler maker in May.

Pune-based Bajaj Auto clocked total sales of 112,798 units in the domestic and export markets in May. In comparison Hero MotoCorp sold 112,682 units during the same month in both the markets. In April too Bajaj had beaten Hero but in that month only the export market was open while domestic market was completely shut.

For the sixth consecutive month, Bajaj’s two-wheelers exports were higher than its two-wheeler sales within India in May. The maker of Pulsar and Chetak sells more vehicles outside of India than in India. Unlike Hero which manufactures motorcycles and scooters, Bajaj Auto's sales, at present are primarily driven by motorcycles. It has only recently launched Bajaj e-Chetak.

Bajaj's push for exports is what has helped dethrone Hero MotoCorp from the top spot since 65 percent of its May two-wheeler volumes came from exports, as per a company disclosure. Bajaj’s domestic sales were at 39,286 units during the reporting month.

Hero’s 5000 touch points (for sales and service) in India which were reopened in May after easing of the lockdown norms managed to sell 108,848 units while its exports stood at 3,834 units, less than 3.5 percent of total two-wheeler sales in May.


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Despite the breakup with Honda, Hero has not been able to scale up its exports to a sizeable level. Its domestic volumes make up an overwhelming 96 percent of total sales.

Export push has also helped another Indian company to move up the ranks. Chennai-based TVS Motor Company sold more two-wheelers in May than Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI) during the same month. In April too, TVS sales were higher than Honda's which happened for the first time.

TVS, the maker of Jupiter and Apache, sold 56,218 units last month, 27 percent of which was made up of exports.

On the other hand, Honda, maker of Activa and Unicorn, clocked total sales of 54,820 units in the same month, less than 1.5 percent coming from exports.

As of end of March Hero remained the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India with total sales (domestic + exports) of 6.40 million units followed by Honda with 5.03 million units.

Bajaj had finished third with 3.94 million units followed by TVS with sales of 3.08 million units in March.

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Swaraj Baggonkar
first published: Jun 3, 2020 09:24 am
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