In January 2019, the Hero MotoCorp Splendor commuter motorcycles outsold the Honda Activa automatic scooter by over 10,000 units. This gap has widened much further in February 2019, with the Splendor selling 244,241 units while the Activa managed just 205,239 units. This is a nearly 40,000 unit gap between the two wheelers, and is quite telling. The Hero Splendor is taking a solid lead over the Activa and if this continues for the next few months, it’ll indicate that commuter motorcycles are now back in a big way, and are now outselling automatic scooters.
Also, the Splendor re-taking the lead could be due to the fact that rural demand for motorcycles going up and urban demand for automatic scooters going down. Generally, automatic scooters are bought mainly in urban areas with commuter motorcycles dominating the rural landscape. There’s a worrying factor though. Overall sales of automatic scooters have shown a fall of over 10 % in February 2019, when compared to sales numbers from the same month last year. However, the commuter motorcycle segment is showing decent growth.
The Hero Splendor, for long has been India’s best selling two wheeler, with the Honda Activa managed to push the commuter motorcycle down from its perch on a few occasions. The Splendor is bought by buyers both in urban and rural India for its high fuel efficiency, bomb-proof reliability, affordable maintenance cost and vast service network. The motorcycle is used mainly for commuting, and in rural areas, it’s not uncommon to see the Splendor carry more than 2 people almost always.
The Honda Activa on the other hand, is India’s most popular automatic scooter, with demand originating mainly from urban areas. The Activa is bought by both men and women for the sheer convenience it offers. Being a commuter Honda, it’s extremely reliable, delivers high fuel efficiency, costs little to maintain, and also gets an all metal body in the 5G variant. The all-metal body of the Honda Activa 5G is a big draw among buyers, who consider fiber bodied scooters inferior to metal bodied ones.
The Splendor is available in multiple variants – Splendor Plus, Splendor Plus i3S, Super Splendor 125 and Splendor iSmart . The lowest priced variant – called the Splendor Plus – starts from Rs. 49,060 while the highest priced model – the Splendor 125, starts from Rs. 58,800. The Splendor also gets 3 engine options – 98.2cc, 110cc and 125 cc. All three engines are paired with 4 speed manual gearboxes. Like the Splendor, the Honda Activa also gets multiple variants and engine capacities. The entry level model is the Activa-i while the Activa 5G is the mid variant (and also the best selling one). The Activa 125 is the top-end variant. Prices of the Honda Activa start from Rs. 51,804 and go up to Rs. 61,539.