Bajaj has regained lost ground with its share rising to 16.27% in Q1FY19 as against a share of 13.95% recorded in Q1FY18. Honda’s share declined to 15.84% from 16.51%
A stellar rise in domestic volumes helped Bajaj Auto regain the number two spot in the motorcycle segment unseating Japanese giant Honda which has been steadily improving its hold on the market.
Bajaj Auto ended the first quarter (April-June 2018) with sales of 594,234 motorcycles, higher than 578,488 sold by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India during the same quarter, as per data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
The market continues to be led by Hero Motocorp, which had sales of 1.87 million in the first quarter.
Bajaj clocked volumes of 1.97 million units during last year while Honda came close to beating the Pune-based company with sales of 1.95 million units in the motorcycle segment.
But Honda went past Bajaj and maintained the lead in the first two months - April and May- of the new financial year. Subsequently, Bajaj regained lost ground with its bread-and-butter models like CT100 and Platina which turned the table by the end of the first quarter.
Bajaj cut the price of the CT100 by almost Rs 2,000 in March, which made it the cheapest geared motorcycle in the country priced at Rs 30,714 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The CT100, which makes up 35 percent of Bajaj’s monthly volumes saw a 50 percent jump in sales during April and May (June sales data was not immediately available).
Similarly, the company introduced a step-down version of the popular premium bike Pulsar 150 where the new variant was launched after a price cut of Rs 10,000. The base model is now priced at Rs 67,500. Sources say demand for the new entry-level model has been ‘strong’.
The 40 percent rise in volumes for Bajaj Auto in Q1FY19 has boosted its market share as well. The company closed the first quarter with a share of 16.27 percent as against a share of 13.95 percent recorded in the same quarter last year.
In comparison, Honda’s share declined to 15.84 percent from 16.51 percent during the two comparable quarters.
In terms of sales, the Japanese company recorded an increase of 15 percent during Q1FY19.
The domestic motorcycle industry grew by nearly 20 percent during Q1FY19 to 3.65 million units as against 3.05 million sold in the same quarter last year, as per SIAM data.
The boost has primarily come from the resurgence of the budget bike models such as the Hero Splendor and Bajaj CT100 and for commuter bikes like Honda Shine. Consumers from rural and semi-rural areas have brought the segment back on track which had increasingly come under pressure from scooters in the last few years.Honda is already the market leader in the scooter segment with a share 57 percent and has set its sights on the number one position in India which is currently held by Hero Motocorp.