Despite new launches, two of the top four two-wheeler manufacturers in India reported a fall in sales in June, compared to the year-ago period. Sales of the country's top four two-wheeler producers rose seven per cent to 12,44,770 units in June, compared with 11,62,641 units in the corresponding month a year earlier.
Increased petrol prices, sluggish off-take in the rural sector and steep interest rates took a toll on demand, even as manufacturers try to keep production levels flexible to avoid piling up inventory.
At 5,34,091 units, India's largest two-wheeler company, Hero MotoCorp, recorded growth of four per cent during the month, against 5,12,244 units sold in the year-ago period.
Sales of Bajaj Auto, the country's second-largest producer of motorcycles, fell one per cent to 3,18,377 units, owing to low exports. The company had sold 3,22,827 units in the corresponding month a year ago. Last month, the Pune-based company launched the Pulsar 200NS and the Discover 125 ST models in Maharashtra, and is ramping up production of the two models to introduce these in more states.
For TVS Motors, sales fell seven per cent to 1,65,438 units, against 1,78,633 units sold in the year-ago period. Domestic sales of the company stood at 1,47,893 units, a fall of 4.7 per cent compared with the 1,55,296 units sold in June 2011. However, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw sales soar 52 per cent to 2,26,864 units, compared with 1,48,937 units in the year-ago period.
Analysts say the market situation is not expected to improve before the onset of the festive season in August-September.