Consumers are now more inclined towards high engine power bikes and sales of such bikes may remain strong in the coming months if low petrol price persists.
Industry sources said that sales of above 70cc bikes grew by 22 per cent in July-February 2014-15 as compared to the same period in last fiscal year.
The difference in urban and rural buying of motorcycles is no more a major factor. Besides, fuel efficient engines and comfort of riding above 70cc bikes also lure buyers for whom high price of 100-125cc bikes appears affordable. The tilt towards above 70cc bikes has been in vogue for the last five years.
“We expect sales of above 70cc bikes to grow in the current fiscal year due to a variety of factors including fuel economy,” a bike dealer at Akbar Road said.
Pak-Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL), which produced 15,326 bikes in 2008-09, sold out 24,358 units in 2013-14. In July-February 2014-15, its sales stood at 14,661 units.
Realising shifting trend in the last few years, some assemblers opted to introduce new products based on 100cc and 125cc engines. An international new player has entered the market with products based on 125cc bikes.
The size of motorcycle market in Pakistan was 1.3 million units in 2009-10. The size of three-wheelers during the period was around 45,469 units. These included two-wheelers used as prime movers for three-wheelers.
The number of 70cc motorcycles produced during the period was 1.17 million units. Those of 100cc were 47,549 units. Motorcycles of 125cc were 113,217 units. Thus in 2009-10, production of 70cc was 88pc of the total market. As of 2013-14, bike production was around 1.52 million and 83pc of these were 70cc.
On the other hand, during the same period, share of 125cc motorcycles in the two-wheeler market increased from 8pc (113,217 units) in 2009-10 to 13pc (200,983 units) in 2013-14.
Year-wise growth of 70cc engine capacity bikes had been 2010-11 (11pc), 2011-12 (2pc), 2012-13 (Nil) and 2013-14 (1pc).
This magnitude in drop in growth rate can be appreciated when seen in the backdrop of growth in production in 2009-10, which was 47pc. Total production of motorcycles in 2008-09 was 910,753 units and it grew to 1.33m in 2009-10.
The annual cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) for 2000 to 2010 was 35pc.
When analysed in this backdrop the ‘standalone’ growth in 125cc and 100cc category, each is reflected to be around 24pc in the five years period under study.
The 70cc had literally dominated the country’s roads due to low price and affordable maintenance cost. But it seems that its growth has eluded.
Some people facing difficulties in maintaining cars which they already have are seen switching towards above 70cc bikes which gives them social recognition as well as mobility they can afford, a bike dealer said.