Bajaj's Domestic Dominance Threatened By Honda

Tuesday 15 May 2012, 11:59 AM by

Bajaj Auto Limited and Japanese automotive giant Honda Motorcycle India Limited (HMSI) are engaged in tough battle to occupy the number two spot in the world's second largest two wheeler market.

HMSI is all set to launch its most desirous motor bike, the 110 cc Yuga, on 15th May 2012, which will kindle the spirit of the Indian Motorcycle enthusiast. The bike offers power output of 9 bhp at 8000 rpm and a torque of 9 Nm at 6000 rpm. As per reports, the bike will be offered with both kick and self-start facility and will also feature a four speed manual transmission.

This will be the Japanese company's first foray into the price-sensitive commuter segment from which it has refrained to participate since its partnership days with Hero group. Bajaj has already launched its new discover just before the introduction of the 110 cc Yuga. This new bike from Bajaj will compete with Shine and Stunner, which are both 125cc motorcycles. In the previous month of April, Honda had better sales records in this segment as compared to Bajaj.

But since the last 6 months, the difference between both the companies has lowered gradually. In the FY 2011-12, Bajaj sold 25.7 lacs units of bikes in the domestic market, which is 6.3 per cent more than the previous year. On the other hand, Honda sold little less than 20 lacs units to mark a growth of 29% in its sales figure.

It is quite surprising that Honda has gained an edge in the scooter segment, which once used to be Bajaj's well defended fortress. Till date the Japanese manufacturer is the largest selling scooter brand in the country with 48 per cent market share. Last year, scooter sales increased by 24.5 percent, which is more that twice of motorcycles sales which registered12% growth. At present, Bajaj do not sell scooters.

President, Motorcycle Business, Bajaj Auto Limited, K. Srinivas said, “We are indifferent to the sale of scooters and mopeds of other manufacturers... for the month of April we continue to be the second largest 2-wheeler maker in India.” He further stated, “With a number of new launches in the coming months, we are confident of outpacing industry in 2012-13.”

On the other hand, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Honda Motorcycle India Limited, Keita Muramatsu commented in the New Delhi Auto Expo during January, “We want to be the number one motorcycle manufacturing company in India, there is no doubt about it.”

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