Number Crunching : Honda Pips Bajaj in July 2013; Is Hero Wary??

In an interesting revelation of sorts, it has become clear now that Bajaj is no longer the 2nd Largest Automaker in the nation. Honda has surged ahead, and even though the difference is minuscule, we feel Honda still has a lot of gas left in its tank. On the contrary, Bajaj seems to be stagnating and unless requisite steps are taken, they might have to let go of their much exalted 20% EBITDA margins.


Let’s have a peek at some of the numbers.

  • Bajaj’s motorcycle sales in July 2013 have seen a noticeable decline from the figures registered in the same month of the previous year, down from 308,858 to 246,828.
    Honda, on the other hand has seen a steep increase from 109,493 units to 147,635 units. That is a whopping 35% growth!!
  • In the comparison of total unit sales, the difference isn’t so glaring. While Bajaj managed to sell 281,327 units in July 2013, Honda was marginally ahead at 287,177 unit sales.
  • Rewinding back to the last year, one can notice that Bajaj has again seen a downward curve, with 344,160 units having been sold in July 2012. An 18% fall doesn’t bode well.
    Honda has been laughing, err “Dreaming” its way to prosperity. In July 2012, they recorded 239,094 unit sales. That leaves them with a healthy 20% of growth. The official statement states that it is due to the increased demand for Honda’s Dream series of motorcycles.
  • An interesting observation is that Honda has shed its dependence on scooters. For the first time ever, its motorcycle sales figures have overtaken those of scooters.
    In July 2013, they sold 147,635 motorcycles in comparison to 139,542 scooters. Cut back to July 2012, and you will¬†realize¬†why it’s a clear case of turned tables. Then, it was 109,493 motorcycles against 129,601 scooters.
  • While Bajaj doesn’t have any scooters in its lineup, it does have its tuc-tucs to fill that space. Here, they have witnessed fairly better figures relatively. The decrease is a minor 2%, down from 35,292 in July 2012 to 34,499 in July 2013.
  • Honda hasn’t handed us any export data, whereas Bajaj has. They have encountered rough terrain on this front as well, dropping by 12% from 125,501 units in July 2012 to 110,023 units in July 2013.

The writing is on the wall. While Bajaj has cut a sorry figure with downfalls on every front, Honda looks rejuvenated and inspired to move northwards. Currently, they enjoy 24% of the domestic market pie. With the commencement of their third plant at Karnataka, we expect this number to increase.

A closer look at the data also unravels the fact that this upheaval wasn’t carried out overnight. Honda has approached this upset they handed over to Bajaj in a workmanship sort of style, plotting gains for over the last few months. Bajaj has been shedding gains and this incident it seems, was inevitable.

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS_rear

Take for example the quarterly data of the consecutive years. While Honda sold a total of 906,403 units in the period of April 2012-July 2012, Bajaj clocked up 1,423,121 unit sales in the same period. A year later, Honda had moved a few rungs higher to 1,027,857 units for April 2013-July 2013 whereas Bajaj had fallen a few notches lower to 1,260,602 units.

Incidentally, this month of July 2013 is also the one in which Honda has recorded the highest ever sales figures in its eventful 13 year jaunt in India. Quite a trophy to celebrate with, eh?? Well, it seems at this rate Honda are definitely en-route to their stated aim of achieving Numero Uno status in India.

Hero MotoCorp, are you paying attention??