November 16, 2012: The state of Uttar Pradesh has led the Dhanteras sales for Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) this festive season with Rajasthan and Punjab following close on its heels at second and third positions respectively. Overall, maximum sales churners were the North and Central parts of the country pitching in with 50 percent of the 50,000 units sold till late evening on Dhanteras (November 11). Among the other states which helped boost sales were Uttaranchal and Madhya Pradesh in Central India and Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir in the north.
Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali festival and is considered an auspicious day to buy vehicles and precious metals, among other things.
According to Y S Guleria, vice-president (sales and marketing), the size of the UP market is the third largest in the country and during Dhanteras, HMSI sold its highest number of two-wheeler here. With the company’s entry into the mass segment in June this year with the 109cc Dream Yuga commuter motorcycle, sales continue to grow with April-September growth pegged at 41 percent compared to 3 percent growth experienced by the industry. For HMSI, the Dream Yuga along with the CB Shine motorcycle and popular Activa scooter were the star performers at Dhanteras.
Scooters still command top priority for HMSI compared to motorcycles with installed capacity for scooters at its existing plants at Mansesar in Haryana and Tapukara in Rajasthan accounting for 51 percent of the total. The third plant at Narasapuram in Karnataka is still under construction with production to go on stream by the second quarter of CY 2013 (for the Activa scooter, CB Twister and Shine), augmenting total capacity to 4.0 million units from the current 2.8 million units. Till then, the company is facing capacity constraints in upping scooter production further as it has already touched full capacity.
Sales would have been higher but for the fact that most HMSI dealers reported ‘sold out’ status. Guleria says the company’s dealer outlets (about 550) ran out of stock on Dhanteras day as they carried 11 days’ stocks before Diwali.
Meanwhile, to meet the spiralling demand for the Dream Yuga, HMSI has already ramped up production capacity to 1,250 units per day from 800 units. With this, Dream Yuga production has reached 30,000 units per month. The volume bike crossed sales of 100,000 units a month ago since its launch and is still notching strong sales in both urban centres and Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Record sales in October’12 resulted in a high number of enquiries at Dhanteras (over 25 percent than the average number of enquiries). Honda showrooms in north and central India witnessed increased customer footfalls of around 5-6 times more than the average.
The eastern and western regions of the country also witnessed good sales during Durga puja time in October with the East chipping in with sales of 10,000 units and west notching higher numbers.
In October 2012, HMSI sold a total of 250,606 units, up 41 percent YoY. While motorcycle sales comprised 121,832 (up 70 percent YoY), scooter sales constituted 128,774 units (up 21 percent YoY). HMSI, at present, has a domestic market share of 18 percent.
Going forward, HMSI is gearing up to launch new models in both the scooter and motorcycle segments in 2013.