The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Darshan H D, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The new generation scooters have changed the Indian two wheeler market. The burgeoning middle class in the urban areas been the major drivers of sales in the scooter market. With increase in no of vehicles and growing traffic in urban areas, it is very difficult to manoeuvre geared motorcycles. Comparatively scooters are easier to drive and also have good fuel efficiency.
Honda has been in Indian market from a very long time. Many of the scooters Honda released were able to meet the customer requirements, leading to huge success. Honda entered Indian scooter market in 1984 with ‘Kinetic Honda’ a Joint venture with Kinetic motors. This was the first scooter at the time with automatic gear transmission in India. This model was able to capture a major share in the scooter market.
In 2000 Honda released two 100cc scooter models Honda activa and Honda Dio. These two models were instantly a huge success and Honda gained more than 2/3rd of the scooter market share. Subsequently Honda also released revised versions of Honda Activa with improved features and performance.
The demand for scooters like Activa has encouraged the other automotive companies to target this segment. This has led to a considerable increase in the no of scooter models each year. Though Honda still has a leading market share in this market, it would be very difficult to maintain the same because of the increased competition.
Honda, with its new model NAVI is trying to disrupt the Indian scooter market. This is a scooter-motorcycle hybrid mainly aimed at capturing the youth market. It is a 100cc motorcycle with automatic transmission, has funky looks and is available in 4 different models. Moreover at an ex-showroom price of Rs. 39,500, this is aimed at giving tough competition for the entry level scooters and motorcycles. The price and the features makes NAVI an attractive choice for the youngsters, we have to wait and watch whether it will be accepted by the Indian youth.