Introduction to Two wheeler Industry Two-wheelers are one of the most easiest and advantageous forms of transportation. Two-wheeler are more flexile then any other source of commutataion.  adaptable ability of a motorised two-wheeler can be characterised by its usage. Its use could vary from being used just for travel from point A to Point B. Quickly transport small packages of goods through the tiny bazaar , narrow street.

Introduction to two wheeler history of India

“The evolution of pedal powered cycle into a motor powered two wheeler helped people move faster and further”

The sheer pleasure of riding a motorbike with the wind blowing on your face, while on a pleasure ride is one of the most compelling reason to own a two-wheeler. Bikes are fast ride to catch the school/college bus, or even a brief trip to purchase vegetables. The adaptive ability of a motorised two-wheeler can be characterised by its usage.

In India, the three top reasons for ownership of a two-wheeler are:

  • low cost of ownership and maintenance
  • compact size and
  • ease of learning and use


The Indian two-wheeler industry made a small beginning in the early 50s when Automobile Products of India (API) started manufacturing scooters in the country. Until 1958, API and Enfield were the sole producers. The Indian two-wheeler industry since its beginning, has evolved many folds in technology and, in the numbers being manufactured and produced. It has seen tremendous growth in about half a century, in comparison to other countries where two-wheelers are a major component of transportation. The 350 cc powered Bullet manufactured in England and assembled in Madras (now Chennai) by the Royal Enfield UK company. Back then Royal Enfield was a British company. The rugged Bullet was ordered by the Indian Army. The solid build and large wheel base supported the soldiers to ride over indigetstible terrains in the north and eastern parts of India with relative comfort.

During the decade that led up to 1970, the two-wheeler industry received encouragement for foreign Collaborations. The production was controlled by the government with licensing, to meter the number of units being produced in the plants.

Period of Entry 1955-1969

The decade between 1970-80, perceived an increase in the overall growth of the industry. Between 1974-79, sales of two-wheelers increased while that of cars declined and jeeps grew very less. The main contributing factor to this increase was a steep hike in the oil prices in 1974. The price hike, converted most of the car and jeep owners or prospective users of this segment to two-wheeler buyers/users. This was because improved fuel efficiency of two-wheelers over cars or jeeps. So the two-wheeler became a prominent form of private transport.



The government of Independent India laid tough restrictions on the imported motorcycle industry by encouraging manufacturing and assembly in the country. The government incentivised local producers to hook up with global brands to deliver high quality two wheelers to the Indian , it also controlled the number of two wheelers brands would produce as well as the number of licenses awarded to manufacture and assemble.

Period of Entry 1970-1980


The 70’s saw a surge in the number of local players of manufacturing units. Between the 1980-90’s, the policies again saw a shift towards allowing foreign collaboration for below 100cc. This brought a whole new realm into the industry, through foreign companies that had advanced technologies, mainly for the motorcycle segment. Fuel-efficiency improved by (60-100) % in the new vehicles. In the seventies, motorcycle mileage was on an average between 25 to 50 kmpl (kilometre per litre), which had now improved to 50 to 80 kmpl. One major occurrence of this decade was that several existing but weaker players died out giving way to new entrants and superior products.

Period of Entry 1981-1990

The decade leading upto the end of the millennium, i.e., 1990’s saw a complete liberalisation of the economy. The industry was deregulated, with several reforms to make Indian exports competitive. There was an increase in the number of brands and thus the models and higher competition. This also led to reduction in the sales for each individual brand. The recession of 1993-94, gave way for a decline in the sales numbers. The reasons for recession in the sector were the incessant rise in fuel prices, high input costs and reduced purchasing power due to significant rise in general price level and credit crunch in consumer financing.

The market improved and made tremendous progress towards the end of the millennium, nearing the year 2000.

Period of Entry 1991-2000

As an overview, the increase in sales volume of this industry is proof of its high growth. In 1971, sales were around 0.1 million units per annum. In 1998, this count had moved up to 3 million units per annum. Similarly, capacities of production have also increased from about 0.2 million units of annual capacity in the seventies to more than 4 million units in the late nineties


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