EXCLUSIVE: Bajaj is the New Number 2 in 125cc Motorcycle Sales; Hero Drops Further!

In 125cc motorcycle sale data that we have, there has been a big turnaround in the position of the top three makers. Read on..

Just yesterday we shared the five year sales data of 125cc motorcycles in India along with some quick analysis on how the overall segment has expanded. We ended the story with a teaser that there has been a big turnaround in this segment and here it is…!

From the numero uno position Hero has dropped down not to second but to third place in all these years. Let us quickly list the numbers to further talk about them in fair bit of detail…

125cc Motorcycle Sale – Manufacturers

Hero MotoCorp7,55,02711,72,2759,88,2015,65,0695,61,555
Honda 9,90,3159,48,3849,63,15911,01,68412,09,025

Quick Analysis

  • As you can see there was a cat and mouse game between Hero and Honda initially. Hero was the leader of this space with its Glamour and Super Splendor. Then Honda overtook it with primarily its Shine. In 2020, however, Hero fought back and beat Honda by a big margin. Following year also Hero maintained its lead, but just!
  • But the fall since FY22 for Hero is massive and clearly there has been a big segment of buyers who have deserted it, at least in this segment. This comes as a big jolt for the company as it has tried multiple ways to resurrect its leadership here.
  • Honda has been the most consistent in this list with no drama and steady numbers that have grown sequentially. Shine has consistently gained in popularity and acceptance and last year Honda averaged over 1 Lakh units of its 125s every single month!
  • Look at Bajaj! It has been the most unpredictable maker with abrupt numbers in the first few years. But ever since it brought its most popular Pulsar brand in this space, sales have just spiraled!
125cc motorcycle sale
Glamour is losing its grip in this space quite fast…
  • As shocking as it may sound – it (Bajaj) is the new number two in the 125cc motorcycle space in India. This means that Hero has dropped to the third spot after continuously losing sales.
  • The re-entrant TVS has come back in style with its lone offering Raider. With a single motorcycle TVS has managed more than 3 lakh units in less than two years! The surprise is the fact that Raider is not a thoroughbred commuter (like what Shine, Super Splendor, etc are). TVS has placed it as a sportier offering that also costs few notches higher.
  • Hero’s loss may be Honda’s gain but TVS and Bajaj are primarily focusing on the sportier sub-segment of this space – and hence probably expanding it.
125cc motorcycle sale
Shine is the largest selling motorcycle in this space…

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125cc Motorcycle Segment – Future

With TVS gaining traction, it will up its game here with more models. It will be interesting to see if it continues to play in the sports sub-segment or if it will enter the commuter space in this segment.

Honda is likely to continue with its duo of Shine and SP125 with minor nip and tucks for this year.

Hero will definitely fight back and may have new 125cc models for launch this year. Clearly, buyers are moving over its Glamour and Super Splendor and something different may be the need of the hour.

Bajaj has to replace its existing older-gen, large selling Pulsar 125 with a new-gen P125 model. However, whether it will happen this year or not remains to be seen.

In the longer run, I see Honda consolidate its position further, with TVS gaining additional momentum in the 125cc motorcycle segment. Bajaj has a very risky move at hand since the new-gen Pulsars have not been big hits till now. If Hero can not get the interest levels in its motorcycles back, it will be very difficult to even maintain its third position!