By Pritish Raj
Two-wheeler manufacturers have started increasing prices of their products by up to Rs 7,000, depending on the engine capacity ahead of April 1 when it becomes mandatory for all bikes and scooters to have safety features like combined braking system (CBS) and anti-lock braking system (ABS).
According to dealers, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) and TVS Motor Company have increased prices on several models to offset the cost of including such safety measures in the vehicles. For instance, the price of Hero’s sub-125cc motorycle HF Deluxe has been increased by `500 to `48,175 while the i3s variant is now priced at Rs 49,375. The Splendor Plus self-start is also costlier by Rs 500 and is now priced at Rs 52,860 while the Passion Pro Drum Brake IBS is priced at Rs 54,475. The Glamour Programmed FI has seen a significant Rs 2,000 increase in the pricing and now stands at Rs 68,900. As per the company website, other motorcycles, including Passion Pro 110, Passion X Pro Disc variant and the Glamour Carb, are still to be updated.
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Analyst said that the increase in prices will further slow down demand, which is already low with inventory levels piling up to seven weeks. “We expect the industry to remain weak in the near term on high inventory which have increased further and rising cost pressure, 11-15% price hike on ABS norms,” analyst at Nomura noted. Analyst at Kotak Institutional Equities said the two-wheeler industry volumes will likely be subdued over the next two years due to increase in vehicle prices and weaker consumer sentiment. Email sent to Hero, Bajaj, HMSI and TVS did not elicit a response.
While Hero, TVS and HMSI had taken a price hike in the range of 1-5% in October, Bajaj increased price up to Rs 1,800 in December as the government mandated a compulsory 5-year insurance for two-wheelers.
Starting April 1, 2019, the new safety norms mandates all bikes above 125cc to come fitted with ABS and vehicles with displacements lower than 125cc will be required to feature CBS. While CBS feature distributes the braking force between both the wheels as soon as the front brake is applied, ABS is a safety equipment that avoids the locking up of wheels and protects the rider in case of an emergency or panic braking.
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A Bajaj Auto dealer said the updated Pulsar 150 is costlier by around Rs 6,500 and is now priced at Rs 87,226. Price of Pulsar 180 ABS is increased by Rs 7,000 to Rs 92,563. Discover 110 CBS is now available at a price of Rs 53,273 and is costlier by Rs 563 over the non-CBS model while the updated version of Bajaj Platina is priced at Rs 49,300, which is expensive by around Rs 1,900.
“The updated model started coming from the third week of February and is up for sale now,” said an NCR dealer.