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Bike cos hope to zip ahead after new govt takes shape

14-May-2004
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Bike cos hope to zip ahead after new govt takes shape

Even as uncertainty due to elections in the last two to three weeks has resulted in a nearly 15 per cent slackened demand over their own projections for two-wheelers, companies are now hoping that with a new government in place, they will be able to make up.

The demand was particularly affected in south and west, while the north reflected an average demand for bikes for companies, feel companies such as Bajaj Auto. These companies blame it on uncertainty that preceded the polls, a dull demand due to ‘‘economic sentiment which was not so good’’ and swings in the markets.

“According to the dealers’ report for the last 12 days, the demand is dull and has slowed down. Dealers are attributing it to elections and the feeling of instability till the new government is formed,” Bajaj Auto vice- president (business development and marketing) RL Ravichandran told FE.

Yamaha Motor India president SK Taneja said that the demand for motorcycles had become dull over the last 15-20 days with elections affecting the market activity, though there have been some patches of growth.

“We had expected double digit growth of 12-15 per cent during the period, as against which there was only single digit. The economic sentiment has been affected and people are holding back demand,” he stated. But the demand is expected to pick up in the latter half of May, and companies such as Bajaj Auto hope that sales double post May 15 to make up for the slack demand in the first half.

Interestingly, in some states such as Bihar, consumers postponed the buying decision in fear of the fact that their motorcycles may be forcibly taken away from them during the elections. The trend of a dull demand is also visible for three wheelers, Mr Ravichandran added. Meanwhile, Hero Honda senior vice-president marketing and sales Atul Sobti said, “Our sales are in line till now, and the total retail should be all right for the month.”

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