File photo of Hero MotoCorp products in a showroom
File photo of Hero MotoCorp products in a showroom

Slowdown Saga: Two-wheeler sales remain subdued in January

  • Two-and-three wheeler sales remained muted in December as well amid depressed rural demand along with inventory management dented off-take.

Consumption downtrend continued to subdue two-and-three wheeler sales in January as inventory management dented off-take.

Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp reported a decline in sales for January 2020 to 501,622 units from 582,660 units sold during the year-ago month.

The company's entire scooter portfolio has migrated to BS 6, and it has stopped producing any BS 4 scooter.

Besides, the company's domestic sales in the month fell to 488,069 units from 569,866 units sold during last January, whereas exports rose to 13,553 units from 12,794 units shipped out during the like month of 2019.

Another two-wheeler major, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported total sales including exports of 403,383 units from 422,178 units sold during the year-ago month.

The domestic sale fell to 374,091 two-wheelers, whereas the company had an off-take of 400,695 units during the corresponding month of 2019.

However, the company's exports rose to 29,292 units from 21,483 units shipped-out during January 2019.

"By January'20 end, Honda's BS 6 production increased to 60 per cent of its total business volume and beginning February 2020 we are achieving 100 per cent transition to BS 6 production," the company said in a statement.

Identically, two-and three-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company reported a sales dip of 234,920 units in January 2020 as against sales of 282,630 units in the corresponding month of 2019.

"In a planned and systematic manner, the company has completely transitioned production to BS 6 vehicles for domestic market," it said in a statement.

"Total two-wheelers registered sales of 2,20,439 units in January 2020 as against sales of 2,69,277 units in January 2019. Domestic two-wheeler registered sales of 1,63,007 units in January 2020 as against sales of 2,28,654 units in January 2019."

Nonetheless, the company's total exports grew by 34 per cent from 52,650 units registered in the month of January 2019 to 70,784 units in January 2020.

On its part, Suzuki Motorcycle India reported total sales of 65,402 unit sales in January 2020.

In the domestic market, SMIPL clocked 56,013 unit sales for the month of January 2020 as compared to 63,209 units sold in January 2019.

Commenting on the sales performance, Koichiro Hirao, Managing Director, Suzuki Motorcycle India said: "January 2020 is the first month in the last 41 consecutive months where the market sentiment has arrested our growth in the domestic market."

"On a cumulative basis however, we have registered a 7.2 per cent increase in our domestic sales."

According to Shamsher Dewan, VP and Sector Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA: "The initial set of sales data released by two wheeler OEMs continue to reflect the weak demand trend. However, retail sales are expected to improve in the near term on back of some pre buying ahead of roll out of BS 6 compliant vehicles."

"ICRA expects price hike of 11-13 per cent due to BS 6. While demand headwinds will persists in FY21, rural sentiments are likely to improve supported by better rabi inflows."

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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