Having divorced from each other a couple of years ago, Indian 2-wheeler manufacturer Hero Motocorp and Japanese manufacturer Honda are arch rivals in the Indian as well as global market. Honda has been aiming to beat Hero at their own game; Hero is the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world in terms of numbers, and Honda has achieved a milestone in that direction.
The shift towards gearless scooters has, after a long time, lead to a scooter beating a bike in terms of monthly sales. The Honda Activa has topped the Hero Splendor in terms of sales for the month of September 2013. Honda sold 1,41,996 units of the Activa while only 1,24,217 units of the Hero Splendor were sold in the same period.
The market is witnessing a shift of preference from motorcycles to scooters due to the ease of usage and growing number of female buyers. Industry-wide data suggests that over the last four years, scooter sales grew at CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 26 percent in contrast with the motorcycle sales which grew by merely 15 percent. In absolute numbers, the first half of FY 2014 witnessed about 50.1 lakh units of motorcycles being sold which is 1 percent up from the same quarter in 2013.
On the other hand, 16.6 lakh scooters were sold through the country in the same period which is 17 percent growth. The key selling market for scooters are like Chandigarh, Imphal, Goa and Kerala etc where you see better levels of urban infrastructural development and female education.
Currently, bikes hold about 70 percent of the two wheeler market in the country. Out of rest, 24 percent belongs to scooters. However, if the current trend continues for some more time (as it is expected) we may see a complete reversal of the scenario.