Light and efficient Mopeds make a comeback

The everywhere two-wheeler that once roamed around the country side and considered a dead segment is making quiet inroads into the market.

In May, the country produced 70,001 mopeds, up from 54,702 units in May last year or 28% more in number terms. More importantly, May 2011 saw the highest moped sales for any month ever. The Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM) has projected a growth of only 12 to 14% for the domestic two-wheeler industry this year.

Moped or the underbone as a segment has a great future. For now it may seem as a very small segment. But, if manufacturers tweak the product to the changed needs of the customer, this segment can see much higher numbers.

The underbones dominate the South East Asian countries are preferred by most for daily commuting. TVS Motor is the only big manufacturer of mopeds. Kinetic and Hero Motors were once other large players who slowly switched to scooters and motorcycles.

Moped are cheap, rugged, light and are very fuel efficient. We can expect Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha to launch some underbones which are not only good looking but are very fuel efficient and some are also equipped with fuel injection technology.