Monday, September 18, 2006

Premium Segment of Indian Bikes

The past few months have seen exhilarating competition in the premium segment with the launch of the Apache 150 in May 2006. The bike has received rave reviews, as the market share of TVS has increased to around 12% in the period from April-July 2006. Already, the Apache is the number 2 brand in the premium segment, beating Honda Motorcycles, though still far behind Bajaj Pulsar. Says K. N. Radhakrishnan, President, TVS Motor Company, “Riding high on the style and design quotient, TVS Apache has met with wide acceptance amongst youth and upwardly mobile professionals.” The premium segment saw sales figures of 384,409 units in the period from April-July 2006, a growth of 42.07% over last year. In the same period, the executive segment recorded sales of 1,668,558 units, growing by 16.66%. Quite a few new launches in the premium segment like Hero Honda Karizma 250 Fi, Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTFi and Yamaha Gladiator 250 are on the anvil.

The premium segment focuses more on technology and flamboyance. According to Shahwar Hussain of The Auto Magazine, “The 100- 125cc segment is huge, contributing to nearly 90% of the market, but the premium segment will soon overtake it as more people will now buy premium segment products.” Meanwhile, there are enough proponents of the executive segment, with the high selling Hero Honda Splendour, Bajaj Platina and TVS Victor. Manufacturers maintain 70-80% of total production capacity for this segment. Radhakrishnan puts it thus, “The launch of value-added bikes in the entry level economy segment has brought a fresh lease of life to the 100cc category.” As the segment attracts middle income groups, product range is oft en extremely diverse and allows buyers to have bikes custom made. Hero Honda,with sales of 982,000 units for the period from April-July 2006, is the market leader followed by Bajaj with sales of 394,000 units in the same period.

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Source:- IIPM-B&E , 2006

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