Bike sales in August down first time in three years

September 10th, 2012 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Motorcycle sales in India shrunk for the first time since 2009, data furnished Monday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed.

India, which is one of the largest markets for motorcycles, saw a sales fall of 8.5 percent at 766,127 units in the month under review.

According to SIAM, the trend was mainly due to the high inflationary trend in the economy and a bad monsoon spell that has affected buyer sentiment in both urban and rural areas.

“Inflationary trend in the economy especially the fuel price hike has hit the segment hard. Motorcycle buyers constitute the entry level automobile buyers and are highly price sensitive,” Sugato Sen, senior director, SIAM told IANS.

Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp’s sales fell one percent in July and stood at 484,217 units from 491,036 units sold in the corresponding month of 2011. August sales fell 12 percent and stood at 443,801 units from 503,654 units sold the same month of 2011.

Not just Hero MotoCorp, but other two-wheeler majors like Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor have also seen a fall in demand over the last two months.

Bajaj Auto’s motorcycle sales last month plummeted 10 percent at 304,352 units from 338,054 units sold in the August 2011. Sales of TVS Motor have also fallen 21 percent at 154,647 units last month from 194,898 units sold in the corresponding month of 2011.

However, two-wheeler producer Hero MotoCorp recently said that it expects motorcycle sales to grow during the festive season after two straight months of fall in demand in line with the economic slowdown.

“I am personally very hopeful that sales will turn positive in October after two slow months (July and August 2012),” Pawan Munjal, managing director and chief executive, said last month on the sidelines of annual convention of Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA).

“However, it is difficult to give a full year forecast as we have to wait and watch demand after the festive season,” Munjal had said.

Sales of Hero Motocorp fell for the first time in many years as demand at the entry-level, for best-seller motorcycles like Splendor and Passion, went down.

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