Ever since Hero Group and Honda parted ways to become individual entities in the Indian market, it was expected that Honda will leave no stone unturned to topple the dominance of Hero Motocorp in the 100-110cc commuter market. And, we were not wrong either, it did not take much time before Honda came in with their offerings in the highest selling segment, aiming squarely towards their ex-partners volumes.
The Dream Series from Honda, is today a four model strong portfolio with the Dream Yuga, Dream Neo, CD110 Dream and CB Twister, and if you have been connected to the world through print media, television and basically every form of marketing platform, you would notice that Honda, is in a intensive marketing mode for its commuter segment offerings below 125cc. However, looking at the data for sales in the segment, a rather stark and glaring issue comes out about Honda's Dream series! it is just not selling as compared to its competitors or in numbers it was supposed to gather.
For the statics, Honda sold through the time period of Apr 14 to Mar 15, a total of 6.32 Lakh 110cc motorcycles making it only the third largest motorcycle manufacturer in the segment. It is an important thing to note that Honda is still behind Bajaj auto which comes in at second position with sales of 8.34 lakh 100-110ccs and that is when Bajaj's market share is dropping like a stone in last couple of years. And if you think that is a grave thing for Honda's desire of becoming the biggest seller in this segment then you would like to know the sales figure for the Hero Motocorp in the same segment and during the same time period. Hero MotoCorp sold a staggeringly incredible total of 48 lakh units sold, and if our maths is correct than it means that Hero MotoCorp's sales were almost 800% more than that of the mighty Honda.
By now you would have understood the sheer gravity of the issue that Honda is facing in terms of sales of its Dream series, but there are more worries for Honda to deal with. During the same time interval, Honda has sold a commendable 8.48 Lakh units of its 125cc models combined, a portfolio that consists of two offerings in the form of the Honda Shine and the Honda Stunner. It is a known fact the Stunner has a small percentage in the sales of the 125cc segment owing to its slightly more niche styling. This means that the Honda Shine is selling almost more than the entire Dream Series combined together, and that is something that should be worrying Honda well enough.
Seeing such numbers and considering the fact that the 100-110cc commuter segment even though has huge volumes to show for, but it is also a well known fact that the same segment also has the thinnest of the profit margins on it, making it a complex business endeavour. Saying that, suddenly it starts to make sense why companies like Bajaj and Suzuki are inclined towards the segment above 125cc as it gives more margins to play around with making it possible for them to invent and bring new technologies meaning customers get for value for money products.
It will be interesting to know, how the mighty Honda will solve the present status of its business. But, Honda is Honda after all and they might just turn the odds around faster than we could think of.