As attitudes toward motorcycling change and motorcycle culture flourishes in India, more and more women throughout the country are buying their own bikes.
Women in India accounting for increasing number of high-end motorcycle sales
Small-displacement two-wheelers have been widely used as basic transportation for decades, but recently a shift in attitudes has occurred as a result of a growing appreciation for motorcycle culture itself. As more and more people in India view motorcycles as more than just transportation, sales of larger motorcycles has started to rise. One segment of the Indian moto-market that is having a profound effect on sales—especially sales of high-end machines or larger displacement bikes—is women.
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“India has recently seen a significant rise in the number of women bikers and women biking clubs," said Managing Director of Ducati India Sergi Canovas. "Women are actively participating in group rides while riding solo or with their partners and we have witnessed a rise in their participation at our Desmo Owners Club’s Sunday rides across India. These women riders are well informed about the accessories for customizing their rides, they treat riding gear as a high priority which signifies the growing awareness for safe motorcycling. We have seen an increase in the number of inquiries and showroom visits by women riders for our motorcycles like the Scrambler, Monster 797 and even the 959 Panigale."
Whether buying a mount for themselves or significant other, the number of women purchasing luxury bikes in India is making a marked difference in total sales volume. Not unlike the way American OEM’s increasingly attempting to tap into the female demographic, marques selling in India are making the same shift.
“There is a lot of money in this segment. Earlier it was jewelry which is now becoming motorcycles. In southern and western markets, women who are financially independent are buying high-end bikes and this customer segment currently comprises 8-10% per quarter for Triumph. Individual users are 5-6 percent while common usage is around 10 percent which is pretty healthy,” said Vimal Sumbly, MD, Triumph Motorcycles India.
The female rider demographic continues to make up a larger and larger piece of the market.
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Sales of entry-level sport bikes to Indian women have also been on the rise, leading moto-companies to believe that a boom is not far off in the mid-size Indian market for machines like Ducati’s Monster 797 and Yamaha’s R6 and MT 09. Though these machines obviously come at a steeper price, OEMs in India have worked out a realistic solution to what could otherwise be cost prohibitive roadblocks.
“We now have special marketing and sales initiatives to cater to women customers like a separate team to go to their homes and facilitate the paper work, quicker loans etc,” said Sumbly.
The number of Indian women interested in track riding continues to increase as well, and the number of women getting involved in motorcycle clubs is on the rise. One great example is the Madras Bulls—AKA MadBulls—club based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Founded with a focus on Royal Enfield Bullets, the club now embraces other Enfield models like the GT and Himalayan and has consequently seen its membership rise. The MadBulls is also an official part of the Brotherhood of Bulleters Motorcycling Consortium, an organization that also thoroughly demonstrates the significant rise in motorcycle club membership.
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With no indications of these trends slowing down, it’s becoming abundantly clear that women are an increasingly important part of the market. Though other OEMs from all over the world aspire to draw in more female customers, it seems the global industry should maybe take a page or two out of India’s playbook.
Source: Times of India