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.