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Hero Honda speeds past Bajaj in scooter sales

Hero Honda speeds past Bajaj in scooter sales

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Tuesday, May 09,2006 9:29 AM

Hero Honda speeds past Bajaj in scooter sales

Identities change fast in a consumer's market. That's what seems to have happened to Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto. The motorcycle czar now sells more scooters than the scooter king.

In April, Hero Honda sold over 6,000 scooters against 2,000 sold by Bajaj Auto, a company synonymous with scooters in India. And don't be surprised if the trend holds true for the rest of the year as well.

Bajaj Auto attributes it to their decision to clean-up their scooter portfolio before they launch new scooters models later this financial year. “We have stopped producing all existing scooters models and are cleaning up our stocks.

The only model being produced by us right now is Wave, but this also, we are not pushing very aggressively,” says S Sridhar, vice president (sales & marketing), two wheelers, Bajaj Auto.

He says, Bajaj's current scooter portfolio is outdated and it doesn't make sense to invest in their marketing and distribution. “Both Chetak and Wave were 'me too' product. We now want to bring scooters sporting new technologies to differentiate ourselves from others,” Mr Sridhar told ET.

Hero Honda is also playing it cool. “We have surpassed Bajaj in scooters and may well end-up out-selling them in the whole financial year as well. But it's more a default rather than by design.

They have almost stopped producing scooters and have plans to bring-out new models,” says PS Sunder, head, marketing, Hero Honda. He says the company's long-term plan is to lead the scooter segment, as they do in the motorcycle market.

The tiny and slow growing scooter market is now led by Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) with TVS Motors, a distant second. Hero Honda is now the third largest player in the segment.

Once the dominant segment in two-wheelers, scooters accounted for a mere 13% of all two-wheelers sold in the domestic market in '05-06. Scooter sales declined marginally during the year as against 14% growth shown by two-wheelers.

Tags: e4m

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