In December 2017, the scooter has pushed out the 113cc Yamaha Ray from the sixth position in the pecking order that it held in December 2016, and out of the top 10 scooters list. It has also dealt a double whammy by edging out the 110cc Hero Duet to claim this mantle. The Duet held the sixth slot in November 2017, but in the following month tumbled to the eighth rank.
The Grazia has also become the third-highest selling scooter for Honda, after the Activa and Dio twins.
All this within a frame of two months since its launch early-November 2017 when it kick-started at position seven in the top 10 scooters list, based on the SIAM data.
In the first month of its launch November 2017, Grazia posted sales of 17,047 units. In December its first full month, it bettered its performance, shoring up sales volumes to 19037 units. The Grazia is now just a few paces behind the Honda Dio that scored fifth slot with sales of 22,588 units during December and is quite likely to be edged out in the coming months.
The Honda Activa that sells the 110cc to 125cc models continues to hold onto its pole position both in the two-wheeler market as well as in the scooter segment with domestic sales of 189,111 units.
Domestic sales of top 10 scooters in December 2017
|Hero Duet||8,087||8||Hero Duet||14,696|
The Grazia has beaten the other Honda scooter models – the 110cc Aviator that sold 5,888 units, the 110cc utility scooter Cliq with sales of 1,718 units and the Navi at 778 units sold during the month under review.
Another 2017 launch, the Cliq is targeted at the rural markets and is Honda’s effort to create a new segment in this region, where motorcycles have dominated the landscape for a long-time based on their strong and utilitarian characteristics.
Pitched as the advanced urban scooter, the Grazia built on the Honda Activa platform with a new design is being manufactured at Gujarat. The Honda Cliq on the other hand, comes out of the Tapukara facility.
YS Guleria, senior VP – Sales and Marketing, HMSI, told ETAuto that the Grazia sales have already crossed 50,000 units in two and a half months since its launch. “We are clearly seeing that the buying preference of Young India is shifting towards more value. With the availability of Grazia across our network from January 2018, we are confident that its sales will continue to rise even further.”
Honda launched the Cliq model to penetrate the acceptance of scooters in the rural market. Bridging the gap between an automatic scooter’s price (Rs 48,000 and above) and a 100-110 cc bike (Rs 44,000 and above), Honda claims the Cliq has emerged as a practical and utilitarian offering for both men and women.
“The real success of the Cliq is that now first time customers in the traditional 110cc commuter motorcycle market have started to include a scooter in their consideration set. The Cliq is the first scooter in the Indian two-wheeler industry targeted for the daily commuting needs of rural and semi-urban customers,” added Guleria.
Sources say that the company has had to juggle production between various models. Since the Grazia is its mainstay model due to the rising demand for stylish 125cc products amongst riders, it fits the bill. Hence, it garners the company’s focus currently and will take on rivals Suzuki Access 125 and the Piaggio Vespa SXL 125 in the 125cc segment.
“The urban consumer sentiment is shifting towards the higher end of 90-125cc scooter sub-segment, with consumers opting for 125cc scooters with better ride quality, premium appeal and feature-rich offering, with the demand being derived from many first-time buyers as well as many existing scooter owners, who are looking for an upgrade. It is likely that the Grazia may have cannibalized Activa 125 volumes to an extent,” said Subrata Ray, senior group VP of rating agency ICRA.
“Coming on to Honda Cliq, the success of this model targeted for the rural masses remains to be seen, even though it is priced competitively to 100cc entry level motorcycles. Motorcycles have an advantage on better ride for rugged rural roads with their bigger wheels and better suspension. However with improving roads and increasing urbanization, we might see a change in consumer demand trending in the medium term.
Also, as per our channel checks there have been enquiries for the Cliq from small businesses (traders, shop keepers) from tier 2 and 3 towns, as it easier to carry a load on a scooter than a motorcycle as well as due to the competitive pricing in comparison to 75-100cc motorcycles,” he continued.
The Suzuki Access, meanwhile, commands a sweet spot in the 125cc segment. It ranks third in the pecking order in the top 10 scooters during December 2017 with sales of 26,959 units.
A distant second after the Honda Activa is the TVS Jupiter with sales of 59483 units and is followed by the Suzuki Access that climbs one slot up and exchanges place with the 110cc Hero Maestro that slips to fourth rank with sales of 26379 units.
The Honda Dio moves two notches to fifth rung from the seventh position it held in the same month in 2016. Hero Pleasure is also up to notch seven from the ninth slot it held in December 2016. It takes over the space vacated by the Honda Dio.
The Yamaha Fascino, which clocked sales of 13,048 units, has plummeted to number nine from the fifth rung, with the TVS Pep+ bringing up the rear with sales of 11,741 units and maintaining status quo at number 10. Market leader Honda Activa and the TVS Pep+ share a difference of 177,370 units in terms of sales volumes.
The scooter segment, meanwhile, was up 52.05 per cent growing from 284,405 units in December 2016 to 432,429 scooters in December 2017 in the two-wheeler market pegged at 1,287,592 units and experiencing a growth of 41.45 per cent during the month under review.
Scooters at a rough estimate account for almost 33 per cent of the two-wheeler market currently and are slated to share a chunk of the rural pie as well in the future.
The scooter segment had consistently outpaced the industry growth rate and reported a double-digit growth, except for the post-demonetization period (November- March 2017). During the nine months FY2018 period, scooters have grown by 19 per cent (two-wheeler volume growth of 11.8 per cent driven by increasing acceptance in non-urban areas, unisex appeal of scooters, new product launches by OEMs, and reducing mileage gap with motorcycles).
ICRA expects the scooter segment to sustain growth momentum over the medium term and to drive two-wheeler volumes growth on increasing penetration levels, though the growth rates may moderate as the base effect wears off.