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Thread: Scooter makers gear up to meet record demand; sales grow 39% year-on-year

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    Default Scooter makers gear up to meet record demand; sales grow 39% year-on-year

    NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Two-wheeler makers are gearing up to ride the scooter's comeback in India, as women and first-time buyers push up sales to record levels. While Hero, Honda Motorcycle and Suzuki Motorcycles have lined up new launches, Yamaha has decided to enter the segment in India to tap its potential.

    Scooter sales grew 39% year-onyear in November, a 22-month high, signalling they could be back in favour with cost-conscious middle-class Indians who are feeling the pinch of expensive fuel and food. The growth in the motorcycles segment was 23% for the same period.

    Manufacturers say they are unable to meet demand despite expanding capacity.

    "We cannot cope with the demand with our single scooter offering, Access 125. So we plan to come out with a second model, which will be launched during the upcoming Auto Expo," said Atul Gupta, VP (marketing & sales) at Suzuki Motorcycles India. The company has a booking backlog of about 30,000 scooters, even after a 30% expansion in monthly production to 27,000 units, Gupta added. In November, two-wheeler makers sold 229,309 scooters and 869,000 motorcycles.

    The automotive industry body SIAM says growth in the scooter segment could outstrip that of the overall two-wheeler market this fiscal year.

    "Scooters still remain an untapped market in India. We expected the scooter segment to grow to 35% by 2016, when the Indian twowheeler market is expected to double to 20 million units," said India Yamaha Motor CEO & MD Hiroyuki Suzuki.

    The demand-supply gap is not only forcing companies to rework production plans but also pushing up the waiting period for customers in smaller cities and towns, as most manufacturing units are located near the metros.

    Customers have to wait for as much as three months for the more popular models such as Honda Activa, Suzuki Access and Hero Honda Pleasure.

    "Even after doubling our production to 1.1 lakh units a month, the demand gap continues to grow. The waiting period for our flagship Activa is a couple of months and we expect to cater to the Indian demand as we ramp up production at our second plant coming up in Rajasthan next year," said NK Rattan, vice-president at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI).

    The demand in the segment is being partly driven by women and tier II cities where infrastructure has improved over the past few years. Tier II cities now account for about 20% of overall scooter sales, against 15% last year. The changing socio-economic environment in the country has also helped push up sales among women, who now form a larger part of the working population.

    Women comprise 12%-14% of the 10-million two-wheeler users in the country. In terms of new buyers, they account for 30%-35% of total sales.

    "The growth in the scooter segment is being fuelled by socio-economic factors including the rise in the number of working women, spread of smaller and satellite towns, and the overall economic growth in the country that is expected to sustain for the next few years," said Anil Dua, Hero Moto-Corp senior VP (marketing & sales).

    Source - Scooter makers gear up to meet record demand; sales grow 39% year-on-year - The Economic Times

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    Nice to see the scooter market kicking in again.
    I can easily see the Yamaha Neo and Vity 125 dropping in next year
    Got a $5 head? Get a $5 helmet.

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