Yes, it has happened finally. Honda Motorcycle and Scooters Asia has overtaken Bajaj Auto in monthly sales in March 2012. The Japanese automaker sold 2429 units more than Bajaj Auto, which sold 2,10,382 units. Honda’s sales have increased tremendously (55% year-over-year growth), while Bajaj Auto’s sales have declined in the same period. This is the very first time Honda has overtaken Bajaj Auto, to become the second largest two-wheeler manufacturer in Asia. Bajaj Auto continues to be second in annual sales though.
It is not yet over though as the battle has jut begun. The reason for Honda being able to overtake Bajaj is simple. The Japanese automaker gets a major chunk of its sales through scooters, a segment which Bajaj Auto is not present in. While many people have post-poned their motorcycle purchase in anticipation of the Pulsar 200 NS, which will go on sale later this month. Once Bajaj Auto brings in the next generation Pulsar and Discover, sales from the Chakan based automaker will pick-up very quickly.
But it won’t be a cake walk for Bajaj Auto to reclaim back the number 2 position as Honda is also bringing in the Dream Yuga commuter motorcycle for the mass market. This 110cc bike will certainly boost volumes for Honda, while the company is also investing heavily to penetrate the rural markets of Asia. Honda has been very vocal about its plans to become the numero uno motorcycle maker by 2020, post its break-up with Hero. Hero MotoCorp is the current market leader, selling more than what Honda and Bajaj sell combined. The world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer is scouting for partners to ensure they maintain their dominant position.
Amongst the battle between Hero, Honda and Bajaj, many have forgotten about TVS. TVS was till some time ago the third largest seller of 2-wheelers in Asia. But lack of new products has taken a heavy hit on them as the Chennai based automaker has not come up with any new motorcycle for a long time now. Hero MotoCorp’s majority sales come from the Splendor and Passion, while Bajaj rely largely on the Pulsar and Discover. Honda gets its major chunk of volumes from the Activa and Unicorn, wile TVS gets its volumes from the Scooty and