Ananya Pathak

Honda Motorcycle's Y S Guleria on marketing trends emerging in 2-wheeler segment in 'Coronial era'

The company's director of sales and marketing says that the brand saw a jump of five per cent in two-wheelers sold on retail finance in August-September.

Automotive company Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has announced its entry in the mid-size 350-500cc motorcycle segment with ‘H’ness CB350’. Built with nine new patent applications, H’ness CB350 is the third BSVI model in Honda’s BigWing portfolio – its exclusive premium bike vertical.

Honda H’ness CB350
Honda H’ness CB350

The motorcycle has a 350cc, air cooled 4-stroke OHC single-cylinder engine, equipped with PGM-FI technology and a dual-tone fuel tank. The company claims that the main shaft coaxial balancer placed on the bike’s cylinder eliminates both primary and secondary vibrations.

Honda states that H’ness CB350 comes with a large tailpipe of 45mm that optimises balance with the muffler capacity, producing a bold low-pitched sound. A single structure in the expansion chamber helps deliver a rich thumping exhaust note when you wind on the throttle. Exhaust pipes are double skinned to prevent heat discolouration and keep the visual appeal intact for long.

At the unveiling of the bike, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, director – sales and marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said, “The basic value of H’ness is in its majesty, which enriches rider’s motorcycling experience to ’go further with free spirit’, encounter new roads and landscapes with Honda’s unrivalled reliability. With its authentic roar, upright road presence and a wide range of new values, H’ness delivers an unmatched riding performance. It takes forward the rich legacy of Honda’s CB DNA and provides the joy of riding through a wide range of situations, like daily use in the city, or long road trips.”

Yadvinder Singh Guleria
Yadvinder Singh Guleria

When asked about the marketing trends emerging in the two-wheeler market in the COVID pandemic-struck world, Guleria mentions that there has been a shift in the market in terms of consumption trends, buying behaviour and vehicle searches by the customers.

“The company saw a jump of almost five per cent in two-wheelers which were sold on retail finance in August-September.“
Y S Guleria

In the ’Coronial era’, Honda has seen a growth in digital consumption of two-wheelers. “The customers (now) prefer digital medium to search for which network is open, how and when will the vehicles be available and more,” Guleria tells afaqs!.

He adds that looking at the buying behaviour, the industry has tried to catch the attention of consumers online. “We upgraded our digital capabilities to cater to the customers online.”

Honda has also shifted most documentation process, including payment, to digital medium. For those who opt for doorstep delivery, the service is available at a nominal charge.

Guleria also mentions that initially the brand saw a dip in retail finance. However, post August 1, it started rising again. The company saw a jump of almost five per cent in two-wheelers which were sold on retail finance in August-September. “It grew from 40 per cent in August to 45 per cent in September,” Guleria confirms.

In terms of new demand, he says that it happened because of the rise in the demand for personal mobility. “The dependency on public transport has reduced drastically as consumers have less confidence on the sanitisation of the vehicle. And so, they started looking for personal mobility choices.”

Last, Guleria mentions that the industry is still behind in double-digit growth, as compared to pre-COVID times. “The prices are high and the demand is still less.” He is hopeful that it will get better in the upcoming festive season.

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