December 2018 Two-wheeler Sales: Bajaj And Suzuki Continue Impressive Run, Royal Enfield Struggles
Suzuki and Bajaj end the year on a high, TVS posts single-digit growth while Royal Enfield sales decline for a second consecutive month
- Bajaj's sales grew by 31 per cent on the back of strong domestic and export demand
- Suzuki's sales went up by 30 per cent and look set to propel the Japanese bikemaker past its FY 2017-18 target
- TVS' sales increased by a modest 4 per cent with exports clocking higher growth than domestic sales
- Hero MotoCorp's and Royal Enfield's sales growth entered negative territory
December typically witnesses good two-wheeler sales due to the leftover momentum of the festive season and numerous year-end discounts. As a result, Suzuki and Bajaj posted impressive sales growth for December 2018, compared to the same month in 2017. However, it wasn’t as good for TVS, Hero MotoCorp and Royal Enfield. Here’s how each of the above manufacturers fared on the sales chart.
Bajaj sold 2,98,855 motorcycles in December 2018 compared to 2,28,762 units in December 2017, a growth of 31 per cent. Sales growth in the domestic market was even more impressive at 39 per cent as the company sold 1,57,252 units in December 2018 compared to 1,12,930 in December 2017. Bajaj also exported 1,41,603 units in December 2018, which is a growth of 22 per cent over the 1,15,832 units it exported in December 2017. In YTD (Apr-Dec 2018) terms, Bajaj sold a total of 32,34,890 units compared to the 25,12,945 units in the same period in 2017. This represents a growth rate of 29 per cent. The Pune-based automaker launched the 2019 Platina 110 CBS in December 2018 and will soon launch the 2019 Dominar 400.
Suzuki Motorcycle IndiaSuzuki posted a year-on-year growth of 30.83 per cent as it sold a total of 52,354 units in December 2018. In December 2017, the company had sold 40,017 units in all. In the domestic market, Suzuki sold 43,874 units in December 2018 compared to the 32,786 units it sold in December 2017, which comes to a 33.82 per cent growth. Exports grew by 17.27 per cent as Suzuki shipped 8,480 units in December 2018 compared to 7,231 units in December 2017. In the Apr-Dec 2018 period, the company sold a total of 5,45,683 as against the 4,20,736 units in the same period in 2017. Importantly, Suzuki surpassed its entire FY 2017-18 tally of 5 lakh units in just three quarters of FY 2018-19. With an entire quarter to go, the company looks set to achieve its 7.5 lakh sales target for this fiscal year.
TVS Motor Company
TVS sold a total of 2,58,709 two-wheelers in December 2018, which is a 4 per cent rise over the 2,47,591 units it sold in December 2017. In the domestic market, the company sold 2,09,906 units in December 2018, which marks a 1 per cent increase over the 2,07,739 units it sold in December 2017. The export numbers though are better as TVS shipped 48,803 units in December 2018, which represents a 22 per cent increase over the 39,852 units exported in December 2017. Motorcycles did better for TVS than scooters as the Hosur-based manufacturer sold 1,07,189 units in December 2018 compared to 95,246 units in December 2017, which amounts to an increase of 13 per cent. However, TVS’ scooters were not far behind with a growth rate of 9 per cent on the back of 91,480 units sold in December 2018 compared to 83,638 units in December 2017. TVS might have expected higher growth since it launched no less than five new products in 2018, viz. the Apache RR 310, the Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0, the Apache RTR 160 4V, the NTorq 125 and the Radeon.
Hero’s lacklustre performance extended into the final month of 2018 as the company sold 4,53,985 units in December 2018. This represents a fall of 4 per cent from the 4,72,731 units it sold in December 2017. Hero attributed the fall to the price increase caused by the new insurance rules and the overall liquidity crunch in the market. However, there were also reasons to cheer for the company as it sold 80,39,472 units in the 2018 calendar year. This works out to a growth of 11.54 per cent over the 72,07,363 units it sold in the 2017 calendar year. Hero also registered sales of 60,37,901 units between April 2018 and December 2018. For the corresponding period in 2017, the company's sales figures stood at 55,85,558. The lull in Hero’s sales figures could partly be due to the upcoming safety regulations and the BSVI norms that are set to be enforced from April 2020. The company is updating its entire two-wheeler lineup to comply with the new rules and has kept away from too many new launches save for the Xtreme 200R and the Destini 125 scooter. Hero models expected to be launched in 2019 include the XPulse 200, the XPulse 200T and the Maestro Edge 125 scooter.
After a single-digit decline in November 2018 sales, Royal Enfield’s December 2018 sales plummeted by 13 per cent. So while the company sold a total of 66,968 bikes in December 2017, it managed to sell only 58,278 units in December 2018. Domestic sales fell by 14 per cent as 56,026 units were sold in December 2018, which is lower than the 65,367 units the company sold in December 2017. Exports were the lone bright spot for Royal Enfield as it shipped 2,252 bikes in December 2018, which compares favourably to the 1,601 units it exported in December 2017. However, the company has clocked positive growth of 6 per cent in YTD (Year till date) terms. From April 2018 to December 2018, it sold 6,29,936 units compared to the 5,93,450 units sold in the same period in 2017. Royal Enfield’s sales still seem to be facing the lingering after-effects of the 18-day strike at its Oragadam facility. But with the strike over and the launch of the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650, the Chennai-based maker of neo-retro bikes might have better days in the offing.
BMW sold 2,187 units in the 2018 calendar year. The two-wheeler arm of the German automaker officially commenced its India operations in 2017, which makes 2018’s sales figures all the more impressive. More importantly, the G 310 R and G 310 GS models contributed to more than 75 per cent of the company’s sales last year. In absolute numbers, that works out to more than 1,640 units. The sales figures must be encouraging for BMW considering the G 310 twins were launched only in July 2018. Although details are unavailable, the 2018 year-end offers and discounts rolled out for both the bikes by BMW might have played their part in boosting sales. According to the company, the S 1000 RR, the R 1200 GS and the R 1200 GSA were the most popular among its big bikes range with buyers.