India is the second largest two wheeler market in the world standing only after the economic conglomerate China. Having sold out 13.4 million units, financial reports transparently shows out the domination of Indian motorcycle industry with an applause growth of 14% in the financial year 2011-2012. Due to the recession, the economists expect a growth of 8-9% in the 2012-13 fiscal year.
India Govt. realized that motorcycles were very essential for patrolling for soldiers and policemen. As a result of government's interruption, it was in 1955, UK based motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield conceived its presence as the first motorcycle in the Indian history with a 350cc Bullet. Establishing a joint venture with Madras Motors, the Redditch company assembled to maufacture Enfield in India. At first it was directly imported from England. But, later in 1962, a Bullet that was completely manufactured in India was moulded. Royal Enfield is said to be the oldest motorcycle company in the world which is still in continuous production since beginning. Later, Royal Enfield was purchased by a Chennai based automobile company. Though bikes got introduced for government services, by times motorcycles however became a part of the Indian culture.
Hero Motocorp is considered as the largest two wheeler manufacturer in the world with a retail of more than 5 lakh units per month and a market share of 56% in the Indian two wheeler industry. The Gurgaon based consortium, Hero Honda was founded in 1984 as a joint venture between Hero Cycles and Japan's Honda. Later in 2010, the partnership was broken and renamed as Hero Motocorp. Even after the break up, Hero still manages to keep on its unequivocal hegemony. Splendour, Passion and Glamour variants are the top selling products.
Baja Auto Limited
The Pune headquartered company was founded in 1930. Bajaj Auto is the third largest and the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world and in India respectively. In 1984, Bajaj sought Japan motorcycle giant, Kawasaki's technical assistance and introduced several efficient products. And the company distributes Kawasaki superbikes in India and KTM motorcycles in India and further South Asian countries, where Bajaj has a stake of 47% in KTM Sport motorcycle AG. The brand accommodates a range of bikes, scooters, auto-rickshaws and cars. Top retailing models of Bajaj are Pulsar and Discover variants.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India. Private Limited(HMSI)
HMSI, a whole subsidiary of Japan conglomerate Honda Motor Company settled its flagship in 1999 at Manesar in Haryana. Realizing the absence of an efficient scooter in the Indian market, HMSI introduced a well engineered 100cc scooter, Activa in 2000. Then the automobile industry has been witnessing Honda's achievement in grabbing faith over customer. At present, Honda is in a battle between Bajaj to gain the no. 2 spot after over taking TVS Motors. HMSI is known for its products, Unicorn, Activa, Dio, Twister and Shine.
Trichur Vengaram Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Limited is the fourth largest motorcycle company in India, which was established in 1978, in Chennai. Apache series is the major in the line up of TVS pavillion.
Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited is an extension of Japan based automobile blimp, Suzuki Motor Corporation. The company has the annual capacity of 2,50,000 units in its production plant in Gurgaon. The 125cc displaced Access 125 is the hottest two wheeler from Suzuki home. It's painful to jot down that Suzuki killed its brand value by itself with unnecessary models (GSR, Zeus and Sling Shot) and underscored advertisements which hardly made customers impressed. However, it's likely to get focussed by the motorcycle maniacs by promoting Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan as the brand ambassador.
India Yamaha Motor Private Limited (IYM), is an Indian Subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Company, Japan, laid its foundation in 1985 as a joint venture with Escorts Group. Later, in 2001, divorcing the escort, Yamaha commenced retailing as an individual motorcycle manufacturer. Mitsui Corporation that has 3% stake in the Yamaha Motor Company bought 30% stake of IYM in 2008. Though Yamaha is a world class leader in two wheeler segment, the consortium couldn't scatter its prosperous in India. Introducing the commuter bike, Fazer 125 in 2004, an ugly sibling to FZ-1 Fazer, Yamaha itself poisoned its brand value. Nevertheless, it came back with some sporty machines- R15, FZ variants, Fazer and conquered youngsters mind.
Come Back of Vespa
Witnessing the necessity of scooters in the second largest two wheeler nation, the Italian manufacturer, Piaggio durably came back for the third time with a beauty 125cc displaced Vespa in 2012. It was in 1960, in a joint venture with Bajaj Auto, Piaggio entered to the Indian market. But it lasted only until 1971. Then in 1983, tying up with LML, Piaggio had its second entry. And the partnership was broken in 1999. This time the consortium has arrived lonely to fight against its rivals. In fact, no opponents are seemed yet to compete with Vespa as it's enormously enriched in sportiness.
Introduction of Superbikes
With the latest arrival of Austrian consortium, KTM Sport motorcycle AG, Indian two wheeler industry is getting filled its plot full of premium brands that earlier lacked in the industry. At first, premium motorcycles were directly imported and were sold out at a highly price tag that included 120% duty tax imposed on the imported product, which was hardly retailable in the Indian automobile sector. Then the companies followed a new pattern, Complete Knocked Down(CKD) by which whole parts of a bike are imported completely in form of knocked down parts so as to escape from the gigantic duty tax.
Later, as the motorcycle manufacturers were met with more customers demanding more luxury bikes, several consortiums commenced full production of premium two wheelers in the country itself and still some are on its way too. At the same time, some others even plan to export superbikes to other countries which are manufactured in the Indian plants.
Chopper motorcycles are yet to get famed in India. Peripherally, there is only one product is available in retail, Honda's VT1300 CX. In fact, most of us don't know what a chopper motorcycle is! A chopper motorcycle is a customised two wheeler with some unusual design and structure, that looks and provides comfy of a cruiser.
Motorcycles those were engineered generations ahead and not in production at present are still a new vibrant for the young generation. Royal Enfield, Yezdi Variants, RX 100, RD 350 and LML Vespa are among this category with a huge fan followers of an exclusive system.
Royal Enfield is known as India's Harley Davidson. Since its production in 1962 in India, RE has been serving an exceptional experience of cruiser bikes to the beloved Indian riders. Though the present RE motorcycles lack the latest technicals, RE is being RE always.
Yezdi variants were once the identity of youth. The motorcycles were manufactured by Ideal Jawa Ltd, Mysore. There were 7 variants namely, Deluxe, Roadking, CL II, Classic, 175, Monarch and Colt. But, in 1996, due to the uncomfortable pollution by the motorcycle obliged the authorities to stop the production of Yezdi variants.
Yamaha RX 100 is still known for its noisy appearance that strikes out the attention of people at any atmosphere. Truly a cult, with its lighter body weight, it still manages to attain a speed of 100kmph.
RD 350 is the another champ among this category. With a 350cc engine and dual silencer, it was a dream for anyone in 80s.