According to TechSci Research report, “India Two-Wheeler Market By Vehicle Type, By Engine Capacity, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, FY2013 – FY2023F”, two-wheelers market in India is projected to cross $ 25 billion by the end of FY2023. With an expanding volume share of over 60% in India two-wheeler market in FY2017, motorcycles dominated the India two-wheeler market, followed by scooter segment.
However, starting from the last quarter 2018 the market is showing a downward trend and 2019 was quite negative, losing nearly 3 million units from the previous year with final sales at 19.1 million units (-14.4%), with data from the two-wheelers, bot ICE and Electric, and three-wheelers (rickshaw) included. Several factors have caused the slowdown, including an increase in insurance premium in 2018 and the new BS-VI emission norms taking effect in April 2020. This has led experts to suggest people are waiting for the discounts on BS-IV models and for more BS-VI-compliant models to land in the showrooms. However, the price of BS-VI model could be higher than the current, hence, altering all the factors at large.
We spoke at length with Mr. Anil Kulkarni, Regional Sales Head (Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh), Yamaha Motor India, where he shared his views on the future of two wheeler industry in India, its challenges and future expectations in the central Indian market of MP and CG.
Q1) Tell us a little about your professional background.
A1) I am working with Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt Ltd as Regional Sales Head for MP & CG since the year 2005.
Q2) How large is Central India’s automobile market vis-a-vis India?
A2) In 2019, India’s average 2-Wheeler Industry was @ 15.33 Lacs / month, whereas central (MP & CG) was 1.38 Lacs/month @ 9% of total average industry.
Q3) While expansion is ongoing process, is there any focus on Urban or Rural markets for Yamaha?
A3) Presently, with product range available in Yamaha (Motorcycles-R15, FZ/FZS, MT15, FZ25 / Scooters-Fascino 125 & RayZR 125), we are focusing on Urban market.
Q4) From an industry’s point of view, what are some of the challenges that automobile industry faces, specifically in two-wheeler market?
A4) Recent challenges faced are switch over of BS 4 & BS 6 norms. The industry also showed degrowth, due to which manufacturers as well as dealers faced difficulty in managing the inventory.
Q5) Given the presence of so many other motorcycle companies, how does Yamaha stand different with specific reference to M.P. region?
A5) This is not specific only to M.P, but common to Indian market, as per BS6 norms all two wheelers should be with fuel injection technology. In India Yamaha has FI technology since 2008 with R15 vehicle & now in all BS6 models, which is a proven & successful technology for Yamaha.
Q6) How is the premium motorcycle space performing for Yamaha in MP/CG?
A6) For Yamaha premium segment in MP/CG is @ 5% only, which is below all India average of 10%. With BS6 launch of R15, MT15 & FZ25, we are expecting growth & matching to all India average.
Q7) Do you see any market potential in launching electric bikes and scooters in MP/ CG market?
A7) Yes definitely there is potential for electric bikes especially urban markets like Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, etc.
Q8) Has the switch over to BS-VI norms affected Yamaha’s production in any way? What is being done to comply with the new regulatory emission norm?
A8) No, switch over to BS6 norms not affected Yamaha’s production, as we had planned the production & launch well before deadline of 31st March 2020. We have launched FZ & R15 BS6 motorcycles in November 2019, MT15 & Fascino, RayZR scooters in December 2019.
Q9) What are the talent development and training activities within your organization?
A9) We are providing technical trainings our internal as well as dealers staff. We also organize National level competition every year called NTGP (National Technician Grand Prix). We are regular participants in WTGP (World Technician Grand Prix) held in Japan once in every 2 years. In 2016 & 2018, we have secured 1st place in WTGP.
Q10) What’s in store for MP and Chhattisgarh Markets for next two years from Yamaha?
A10) Presently we are at 2% market share in Sports (Deluxe + Premium) & Scooter segment in MP & CG states. We have planned & are confident of gaining 18% in Sports & 10% in Scooter segments with this BS6 product range, in next two years.