Scooter sales rise as women don the helmet

Tuesday 20 December 2011, 12:34 PM by

Scooter sales are rising in the Indian automotive market, primarily due to unprecedented demand from women. The main drivers of this sales boost are small towns with lesser traffic as well as the lightweight construction of the scooters currently on sale.

According to data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), scooters posted the highest growth in terms of sales during April-November 2011, surpassing motorcycles and cars. However, this 23.4 per cent increase in sales was over a smaller base, just 1.62 million units, which is just 1/5th of the number of motorcycles currently in India.

This news will be quite surprising to those who had assumed that there was no potential market for scooters as sales had dwindled a few short years ago. This rise can be attributed to the lightweight, gearless scooters available in the country nowadays, which women and students seem to prefer immensely.

According to Abdul Majeed, partner and auto practice leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, this change in trend has resulted in more scooters that appeal to the key demographic than the traditional heavier models that were popular with men. He believes that there is no market for ‘big, powerful scooters’ as that audience has migrated towards motorcycles.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India’s Activa is the best selling model in the country these days, with a waiting period of close to 4-6 months. Hero MotoCorp’s Pleasure, the only scooter offered by the two-wheeler making giant, is another scooter that is aimed primarily at women. The company has set up a separate sales network for this vehicle and is expected to offer new models in this range. TVS Motors also enjoys a strong presence in this segment and will aim to capitalise on the recent boom.

Considering the potential of the segment, it seems that the sales growth of scooters is here to stay.

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