Mar 25, 2011

Honda to launch gearless scooters

Honda will launch many more gearless scooters for the Indian Scooter Market. After a decade of launching Honda Motorcycles and Scooters in India, Honda Motor Co set shop in India. The scooter market was previously dominated by Bajaj Auto, India`s most popular scooter maker ever.

Close on the heels, Honda, yet another renowned brand in India launched Honda Activa, a 102cc 4 stroke scooter that defied all predictions and went on to become the bestselling scooter right from the word go. Then came the very reliable, super convenient and reasonably fuel efficient Activa which continues to do so in its latest 110cc avatar. The popularity is well depicted by the long waiting lines that stretch for months together.

Honda followed the Activa up with the 50cc four strokes Honda Eterno, a geared scooter. The Eterno sold well but its volumes were not enough for Honda maintain production. Last year, the Eterno was given a graceful retirement while the demand persisted. The final scooter from Honda was the Aviator, but the model never really took off as well as the Activa or the Dio.

Honda essentially reignited the almost-dead scooter segment in India. The number of competitors has sprung up since then but none with the stellar and enduring success that Honda has managed to enjoy over the last decade. Hero Honda then launched the Pleasure. TVS Motors, announced the Spectra, the Scooty Pep and now the TVS Wego. Bajaj on the other hand, launched Saffire, the Legend, the Four Stroke Chetak, the Kristal, and last but not the least the Wave DTSi.

The now defunct Kinetic Engineering Limited came up with the Kinetic Nova, the Nova 135, and the Kinetic 4S and even tied up with SYM of Taiwan to ring in more automatic scooters, which currently Mahindra Two Wheelers, now makes. Mahindra Two Wheelers’ portfolio now makes Nova called the Duro, the Mahindra Rodeo and the Mahindra SYM Flyte.

Hence, the Indian scooter market may be seen like a confluence of various brands with Honda Activa seeing not much competition. The future competition will include Yamaha, which is planning to make its foray in the scooter segment along with the Piaggio’s legendary Vespa, which is all set to make an Indian foray. Despite all this, Honda Activa is a phenomenon which has managed to outsell all of these scooters. The scooter segment can thus have more scooters from Honda with more durability and ruggedness packed in.


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