The global two-wheeler industry is going through a slowdown due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in many parts of the world. India is the world's largest two-wheeler market by volume, and the current countrywide lockdown has certainly affected production and sales of all kinds of scooters and motorcycles. But there is still some good news for the industry, as the results of a carandbike survey indicate. As India moves towards restrictions of the lockdown, there will be immediate demand for two-wheelers, as more and more Indians will look to prefer a personal mode of transport, rather than opt for public transport in the post-COVID-19 world.
According to the survey, as many as 73 per cent of potential bike buyers will consider purchasing a two-wheeler within three months after the lockdown is lifted. And compared to purchases of passenger cars, potential two-wheeler customers will be quicker to make a purchase after the lockdown. In fact, 48 per cent of two-wheeler customers are willing to buy a new motorcycle or scooter in just one month after the lockdown. Only 16 per cent respondents said they will wait for three to six months after the lockdown to make a two-wheeler purchase.
Another interesting trend noticed in the survey is that interest in mass market motorcycles increased from 35 per cent before the lockdown to 45 per cent after lockdown, while interest in sports bikes or the cruiser segment decreased slightly from 52 per cent before the lockdown to 45 per cent in the post-lockdown period.
Overall, the top five most inquired brands before and during lockdown are Honda, Royal Enfield, Hero MotoCorp, TVS and Bajaj. As many as 22 per cent of consumers are enquiring for products from Hero MotoCorp, India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume. Another interesting trend revealed in the survey is that enquiries of scooters went down by 10 per cent, after the lockdown came into effect. This may be attributed to the changing attitude of having a two-wheeler for the daily commute, as well as the occasional long distance commute, and not as a casual nearby runaround option. So, preference for motorcycles grew from 73 per cent among the respondents before the lockdown to 84 per cent, while for scooters, preferences fell from 27 per cent before lockdown to 16 per cent after lockdown.
The carandbike survey was conducted in April 2020 in association with Brandscapes. The survey was conducted among more than 1,000 market customers of carandbike, and over 100 dealers of new and pre-owned dealers. The survey covered respondents in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Indore.