Moped, the most preferred two-wheeler in rural areas, has seen the maximum decline in the segment in terms of sales during the period from April to December 2019. While domestic sales of scooters and motorcycles dropped by 16.16 per cent and 15.04 per cent, respectively, moped sales declined by 25.10 per cent.
TVS Motor, India’s third largest two-wheeler maker, is the sole manufacturer of mopeds after Hero and Kinetic exited the sector many years ago.
According to SIAM data, moped sales dropped to 495,805 units during April to December 2019 from 661,923 units in the corresponding period last year.
Mopeds, which used to account for 4 per cent of total two-wheeler sales during April to December, contributed 3.56 per cent to total two-wheeler sales, which stood at 13,914,974 units.
The segment has been impacted by the stress in rural markets and a drop in prices of entry-level motorcycles.
Earlier, K N Radhakrishnan, director and chief executive officer of TVS Motor, told analysts that weak sentiment in the rural market was one of the main reasons behind the drop in moped sales.
He said that the increase in costs due to higher insurance premiums, suddenly 12 per cent, also pushed up the on-road prices. “....And all of us know there is a huge discounting from many of our players in the economy motorcycles. So these are the two important factors that started affecting moped market,” he said.
However, he noted that TVS did not discount the product and added value in terms of electric start. About 90 per cent of moped sales today come from electric start. “I am pretty confident when the rural market starts coming back, mopeds will come back in a big way,” he added.
On the impact of BSVI transition and price impact due to the transition on mopeds, he said the company was pretty confident of BSVI transition in the category and making it available to customers on time.
As far as pricing is concerned, BSVI is applicable not only to mopeds, but also to the entry-level motorcycle, commuter motorcycles and scooters. Hence, the relative cost increases would be the same for all, Radhakrishnan said.
Moped exports dropped by 22.75 per cent, while the entire two-wheeler segment reported rise of 6.87 per cent, thanks to positive growth of motorcycles, which saw 9.25 per cent growth in exports while scooter segment saw a 8.41 per cent decline.
Total two-wheeler exports were 2,685,802 units during April to December 2019. Scooter exporters dropped to 286,278 units from 312,569 units, while motorcycle exports rose to 23,88,087 units from 21,85,814 units.