Bajaj Auto emerged as the best performer in December two-wheeler sales in the domestic market by posting relatively flat numbers while others such as TVS Motor Co and Hero MotoCorp saw sharp declines in their India auto sales.
Bajaj Auto escaped the sharp declines by reporting sales of 1.28 lakh units in India in December, compared to 1.29 lakh in the same month of 2020.
The performance is somewhat surprising, given that market leader Hero MotoCorp has been bleeding numbers ever since the festival season started, while even close rival TVS Motor Co — which was otherwise going strong — reported a 17% fall in its India two-wheeler sales in December. Hero MotoCorp had reported a fall of 12%.
The exact reason why Bajaj Auto has been able to avoid the declines shown by its rivals is not known, but is likely to have to do with two factors — Bajaj’s lack of presence in the scooter segment and its greater focus on the mid-range and premium segments.
The scooter segment has been the worst affected for both TVS and Hero MotorCorp, dragging down overall 2-wheeler numbers, while the entry-level and commuter bike segment has also borne the brunt of the demand slowdown in the economy.
In case of exports, however, it was TVS Motor Co which put out the best performance during December.
Bajaj Auto’s export numbers for the month fell by 9% to 1.91 lakh from 2.10 lakh in the same month of last year.
However, TVS Motor Co reported a 10% increase in its exports to 1.03 lakh from 0.94 lakh last year.
Bajaj is the biggest exporter of two-wheelers from India.
The company, also the leader in the three-wheeler or autorickshaw market in India, saw a sharp jump of 68% in sales in this category, largely due to a low-base effect.
Autorickshaw sales had fallen off a cliff last year due to the COVID-19 shutdown and a fear among the public of traveling by public transport.
However, autorickshaw travel has again picked up this year, driving demand for three-wheelers.