Bajaj Auto Limited, India’s largest motorcycle exporter, has made a strong statement by claiming to be the leading manufacturer of motorcycles in India by sales volume. Bajaj said the company began the fiscal year from April 2021 to March 2022 as the number one motorcycle manufacturer in India, with global sales of 3,48,173 units in April 2021, with exports of 2,21,603 units, or nearly 64% of the total. volume. sales. Bajaj Auto’s claim is technically correct as Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, shipped just 3,39,329 units in April, although a brief shutdown of Hero factories due to the ongoing second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic helped Bajaj to take the lead. …
Read also: Bajaj overtakes hero in monthly motorcycle sales in April 2021
A more pertinent figure, however, is the sheer export volumes of Bajaj Auto, which maintains its position as India’s leading car exporter. In fiscal 20-21, Bajaj accounted for nearly 60% of motorcycle and three-wheeled vehicle exports. 52% of the company’s volume was exported to more than 79 countries, Bajaj Auto’s export revenue was Rs 12,687 crore. But Bajaj is not alone. Just a month ago, TVS Motor Company, India’s second largest two-wheeler exporter after Bajaj, reported its highest monthly two-wheeler exports, surpassing 100,000 in March 2021.
Read also: TVS will record the highest monthly export of two-wheeled vehicles in March 2021
Commenting on the event, Sudarshan Venu, Joint Managing Director of TVS Motor Company, said: “Together with our colleagues in the industry, we hope to continue to play a role in making Indian two- and three-wheeled motorcycles popular and in demand in many global markets. More In recent months, we have witnessed growth in various regions with a definite shift towards premiumization. We will strive to maintain this momentum as we strive to delight customers with our exciting range of products. Investment in technology and the future of mobility will be important to us in the next phase of our growth and transformation. ”
Read also: Honda Two-Wheelers India opens new overseas business vertical
And this focus on overseas markets seems to be increasingly popular with manufacturers. Earlier this month, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) announced the creation of a new overseas business vertical to promote India as Honda’s global export hub. While HMSI exports its two-wheelers to several countries, in particular Indian-made models such as Dio and NAVI to Latin America, the new vertical is expected to take Honda’s export targets a notch higher. In April 2021, Honda Two-Wheeler India also announced its best export volumes in the past three years: the Honda SP 125 is now exported to Europe, and the India-made Honda H’Ness CB350 and Honda CB350RS are now exported even to Honda’s domestic market in Japan. …
“Looking to the future, Honda 2Wheelers India aims to further solidify its No. 1 position in the global Honda motorcycle business by opening a new chapter“ Make in India, for India and the world ”in the BS-VI era. As a result of this major organizational restructuring, the company is strengthening its business and increasing competitiveness to meet the high expectations of Global Honda, ”said Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director, President and CEO of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India.
Read also: Royal Enfield sales fell 19 percent month-on-month
Royal Enfield is another one of the most renowned motorcycle brands in India and prides itself on being the global leader in the mid-size motorcycle market. Launched in 2018, the Royal Enfield 650 Twins spearheaded Royal Enfield’s global ambitions, followed by the launch of the new Meteor 350 and the revamped Himalayan, which are now positioned as global products. In fact, the Himalayan and 650 Twins have made their mark even in developed markets such as North America. But the numbers contradict Royal Enfield’s overseas ambitions. The domestic market is where Royal Enfield still receives the lion’s share of volumes, with exports accounting for just 6.3% of total sales in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Read also: Bajaj Auto becomes the world’s most valuable two-wheeler
“Bajaj Auto is in a fortunate position as half of what we produce is exported. As in the past year, our exports will be very useful to us; at least we can keep our nose above the water. With regard to domestic sales. As for motorcycles, in particular, and, in particular, entry-level motorcycles with a volume of 100-125 cubic meters. see, this year is still below last year’s level, ”said Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director of Bajaj Auto, in a recent TV interview.
“Originally during the holiday season, in September and October 2020, due to the explosive growth of stocks, this was disguised. But this camouflage has been unraveled in recent months, and it is clear to everyone. Now, in terms of sentiment, if consumers are worried about our jobs and wages, it won’t help any of us. And I can tell you, whether it’s Bajaj Auto or some of the other big two-wheeler makers, all of us, “Over the past few days, no matter which state we are in working, we have lowered our domestic sales forecast by about 15 percent. Dealerships across the country are in chaos, “Bajaj added.
Read also: COVID-19 Delays First Bajaj-Triumph Alliance Motorcycle Until 2023
It is clear that exports can only be part of the story. The Indian two-wheeler industry is heavily dependent on the domestic market as it is the largest two-wheeler market in the world. And if market problems, economic conditions and general consumer sentiment remain subdued, especially in the high-volume segments, focusing solely on exports is unlikely to help make things easier for producers. In fact, the recent surge in exports is viewed by many observers as an alternative to increasing export volumes overseas, rather than having permanent stocks in dealerships in the domestic market, where restrictions are in place in many places.
“Export demand has grown in South Africa and Nigeria, as well as in other parts of the continent, which are a major export market for Indian two-wheeler manufacturers. Then, the deferred demand in export markets after the COVID recovery period also increased. “Finally, as COVID affects domestic sales, automakers are leveraging their inventory and supply chain for export markets,” said Shamsher Dewan, Auto Analyst, ICRA Limited, India’s independent investment information and credit rating agency.
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With phased and limited lockdowns across much of India during the ongoing deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the next few months could hit domestic two-wheeler sales hard. While sales of two-wheelers in March 2021 were promising, the decline in sales in April 2021 from the previous month is worrying. And with no signs of a weakening second wave of the pandemic in India, and with recent reports that even a third wave will hit India closer to the second half of 2021, the auto industry appears to have a tough road ahead.
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