The sale of mopeds, the light-powered two-wheelers, dropped nearly 30 per cent during the July-September quarter (Q2) because of stress in rural market and a price drop in entry-level motorcycles. TVS Motor Company is, however, confident the sales would go up as the rural market is making a comeback and after the implementation of BSVI.
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. It sold 168,000 mopeds during Q2, against 241,000 units during the same period last year. Overall scooter sales of the company declined by 14.17 per cent and motorcycles by 18.37 per cent during the same period.
K N Radhakrishnan, director and chief executive officer of TVS Motor, said weak sentiment in the rural market was one of the main reasons since there was always a worry about delayed monsoon.
Besides, the cost increase due to higher insurance premium, suddenly 12 per cent, on-road prices went up. “....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, TVS did not discount the product, instead it 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, moped will come back in a big way,” he added.
On the impact of BSVI transition and price impact due to the transition on moped, he said the company was pretty confident on BSVI transition in this category and giving it on time to the customers.
As far as pricing is concerned, BSVI is applicable not only to moped but also to the entry-level motorcycle, commuter motorcycles, scooters, and premiums. So the relative cost increases are going to be same for all, he said.
Firm ventures into riding-gear market
TVS Motor Company has launched TVS Racing Performance Gear, which includes riding gears, urban and casual wears for racing enthusiasts. These will be available in select TVS Motor dealerships across the country and its online store. The company said it would work with international partners to style, manufacture, and distribute the products. The company announced this at its maiden annual event for racing – MotoSoul 2019 held at Goa on Friday.