Roughly 2.5 million to 3 million two-wheelers sold between Navratri and the end of Diwali season.
The Indian two-wheeler market, which posted a flattish sale in the 2022 festive season, is back to a strong double-digit growth inching closer to the previous peak on the back of a growing economy and initial signs of revival at the bottom end of the pyramid. Close to 2.5 million to 3 million units are estimated to have been retailed between Navratri and the end of Diwali season.
The leading players Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company – three of the top four two-wheeler makers – claim to have grown by double digits in the first half of this season, starting from Onam in August till Navratri in October and are estimated to have sustained the strong momentum of Navratri and Dussehra into Dhanteras and Diwali, concluding the season with Bhaidooj.
Hero MotoCorp, the largest two-wheeler maker, had already guided for strong double-digit growth during the analyst conference call. Niranjan Gupta, CEO of Hero MotoCorp, had said the demand momentum has been very strong both from rural and urban markets. “The festive season has started off very well and overall, we do expect momentum building as we move forward. So far, we have grown by 15 percent and we expect that the market will grow in double digits this season,” Gupta said.
Last festive season, Hero MotoCorp had sold over 1.2 million vehicles between Navratri to Diwali, but this time around, assuming a minimum growth of 15 percent guided by the company, it is likely to have retailed about 1.3 million to 1.4 million.
And both its key Indian rivals – Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company – have already outperformed the market in the first half of the season from Onam to Dussehra and both companies had expressed confidence in posting a double-digit growth this season. “We are expecting 12-15 percent industry growth during the festive season as compared to a similar period last year. Our recently launched Pulsar N150 is doing well, and we expect to outpace the industry growth on the back of our strong performance in the 125cc plus segment,” Rakesh Sharma, executive director of Bajaj Auto, told our sister publication Autocar Professional during a quarterly media conference call.
This growth can be attributed to a key segment of entry two-wheeler buyers coming back. Hero MotoCorp has already witnessed a growth in its 100-110cc segment led by the new launches and TVS Motor Company too believes that the rural market is coming back and it will help the overall market.
Federation of Automotive Dealers Association (FADA) in its review of the Navratri-Dussehra season had said that the two-wheeler category saw several positive trends, buoyed by festive cheer and stronger rural demand. Enhanced availability of models, especially those in high demand from the previous year, along with better financial schemes, contributed to a solid market momentum.
“States going into elections also injected optimism into the market, leading to an increase in government spending and improved liquidity,” FADA said in its statement. “Despite a shift in festival dates with Diwali moving to November, the anticipation of the festive season stimulated purchase intent and dealers reported good stock preparation and robust ground efforts that led to an uptick in sales figures, showcasing a resilient and adaptive market.”
The average inventory for the two-wheeler segment was adequate at 40-45 days and there were numerous schemes being rolled out by vehicle makers to woo buyers, especially for the entry segment and in the rural and semi-urban areas.