Manu P Toms,
Hindustan Times Mumbai, April 05, 2011
The motorbike, the preferred rugged ride of young men, has competition and if latest figures are anything to go by, the scooter has zoomed past it, powered by women. The demand for the unisex scooter — the one without gears and clutch — has outstripped demand. Scooters sold faster than motorcycles in 2010-11, clocking 40% against the bikes’ 27%, industry executives said.
As many as 1.9 million scooters were sold last fiscal, apparently with an extra push from women.
Honda’s Activa, which tops the sales, has a waiting period of a year, said dealers in Mumbai.
“This supply shortage is across India. The new plant, which will come up in August, will help us meet demand,” said NK Rattan, head of marketing, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI), which has a 45% market share.
Despite making close to 650,000 Activas, HMSI is facing a backlog of 200,000.
The 40% growth rate would be sustained for some time, said HS Goindi, president, marketing, TVS Motors, whose three
models sold 425,000 units last year. “With demand growing, we, too, are facing some manufacturing constraints.”
Hero Honda’s Pleasure clocked an unprecedented 360,000, while new entrant Mahindra & Mahindra saw its sales more than double to 158,733 in the last fiscal.