The motorcycle in question, is Hero’s Splendor. Launched as Hero Honda Splendor back in 1994, today there are six variants of Splendor on offer, (Splendor Pro with black alloy, Splendor iSmart, Splendor+, Splendor Pro, Splendor NXG, and Super Splendor) all powered by the same 97.2 cc engine, except one – Super Splendor, which is powered by a 125 cc engine. Ever since its launch, Splendor has managed to create an association with two wheeler riders in India.
But, that is soon changing. Hero’s partner of the past, and now it’s biggest competitor, Honda is soon closing in on Hero. Honda’s best selling two wheeler is an automatic scooter, Activa. Powered by a 102cc 4 stroke engine, Honda launched the Activa in 2001. Today, it is challenging Hero Splendor for the title of India’s largest selling two wheeler.
For March 2014, Honda sold a total of 177,928 units of Activa, while Hero sold 163,778 units of Splendor – a difference of over 15k units. This is not the first time that Honda has beaten Hero, back in Sep 2013 as well Honda managed to outsell Hero Splendor.
The reason for growing demand for Honda Activa, is because of its ease of riding and manoeuvrability in traffic. Though Splendor is less on maintenance and high on fuel efficiency, majority of the buyers today, prefer the ease of riding offered by Honda Activa as against the financial benefits offered by Splendor.
This is just the start. Compared to motorcycles, demand of automatic scooters is rising at a much faster rate. Honda will soon launch the 125cc Activa in India, which will further threaten Hero’s best selling bike.