Motorcycle sales fall in India — again

Several Indian OEMs reported motorcycle sales drops in December 2019, marking the country’s 13th straight month of sales decline in the industry.

India’s three biggest motorcycle manufacturers posted lower year-over-year sales numbers in December. Hero MotoCorp’s domestic Indian sales dropped 5.6% to 436,591 units. Bajaj Auto’s sales fell 21% to 124,125 units, while TVS Moto Co.’s sales declined 25% to 157,244 units year over year.

Additionally, Royal Enfield reported a 13% drop in December sales. The OEM sold 48,489 units compared with 56,026 units during the same time last year.

Suzuki Motorcycle India bucked the trend with 1.1% growth — to 44,368 units — in December.

However, OEMs Bajaj and TVS saw more success with exports. Bajaj sales from exported motorcycles grew 13% to 160,677 units, and TVS exports rose 20% to 58,375 units year over year.

The decline in two-wheeler sales is due, in part, to a hike in insurance premiums and a slowdown in the Indian economy, Minoru Kato, chief executive of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said at an event in September 2019.

The shift to the BS-VI vehicular emission standard, slated to go into effect in April, will also pressure sales, Kato noted. BS-VI compliant vehicles are costlier than previous models, and Honda expects that the next fiscal year will be more challenging as consumers will likely wait for bigger discounts.

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