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India’s Motorcycle Industry: Scooter Sales Sharply Declined in Major Cities Due to Lockdown Measures in 2020

Motorcycle sales in India shrank to 1.42 million units in 2020, down 23.2% from the previous year. Sales were on a downward trend after peaking in the fall of 2018, but the nationwide lockdown from late March 2020 to mid-May 2020 due to the new coronavirus further weakened demand, resulting in a significant decline for the second consecutive year. In the second half of 2020, sales temporarily recovered but sharply dropped again at the end of the year. In 2021, a new strain of the new coronavirus worsened the situation in India and the market plummeted again in April and May.

In 2020, scooters decreased about 30% to 4.2 million units and standard motorcycles dropped around 20% to 9.46 million units. Scooter sales significantly decreased due to strict lockdown measures in major cities which are the core market of scooters in India. For this reason, Honda’s share in India, which has a significant presence in the scooter segment, dropped 0.8pp to 25.1%. The market share of Hero MotoCorp, which is a major standard motorcycle manufacturer, increased 1.9pp to 37.8%.

Regarding electric motorcycles, among the major motorcycle manufacturers that are members of SIAM, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor launched scooter-type electric motorcycle products in 2020, entering the segment. Bajaj Auto’s Chetak sold 1,337 units and TVS Motor’s iQube sold 310 units in 2020. As can be seen from the figures, electric motorcycle sales were quite limited while conventional motorcycles remained the main products in the market.

Note: This report summarizes the recent trends in India’s motorcycle industry and market based on official statistics from the country’s automotive industry association SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers). Electric motorcycles of manufacturers that are not members of SIAM are not included in this report. Throughout this report, the term “standard motorcycle” refers to motorcycles that are not scooters or mopeds.
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