According to a recent report by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), India has become the number one two wheeler market in the world overtaking China in the year 2016. This is something the two wheeler manufacturers of the country would rejoice and celebrate.
India sold 17.7 million two-wheelers in 2016 while China had a total sale number of 16.8 million two wheelers in the same period. Of the India’s sales, scooters accounted for over 5 million numbers while commuter motorcycles in the 110-110cc segment saw 6.5 million pieces of them sold.
Though China’s two wheeler market is huge in terms of pure volume, off late, the Chinese domestic motorcycle market has seen a drop in sales due to the recent ban of motorcycles in the urban centres.
While Chinese domestic two wheeler market saw a sale of over 27 million in 2010, it has started decreasing gradually for the past few years. During the same period, two wheeler sales in India has been steadily increasing. In 2011-12, more than 13 million two wheelers were sold in India, which had increased to 16 million units by 2014-15. During the financial year 2016-17, India’s two wheeler sales have been over 17 million units.
The downward trend in the Chinese domestic two wheeler market can be attributed to several factors. The main factor being that the Chinese market is highly regulated and there are import barriers which control the kind of motorcycles imported. Also, unlike India or US where there is a developed motorcycling culture, Chinese see motorcycles only as a tool to commute. So, the demand for higher capacity motorcycles for touring or adventure riding is very less.
Also, many urban centres and municipalities have banned motorcycles in downtown areas. Higher capacity motorcycles are also forbidden from entering urban areas. Another major reason is the availability of cheap Chinese cars which make a better alternative to the two wheelers.
India on the other hand does not have any embargoes like these and hence sees a thriving domestic two wheeler market .