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A crore is 10 million

August 20, 2015
2015 Honda Acitvia3G

Sales of Honda’s IDM Activa scooter have reached 10 million (Honda India photo)

Bellingham has had perfect riding weather lately. Sunny, warm when not hot (90°F has happened many more times than usual this summer), there are scooters running around. Not a whole lot, but more than you’d see during the rest of the year.

But nothing like the numbers you’d see in India. One scooter in particular recently passed a major sales milestone.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India announced sales of its Activa line of scooters reached the 10 million mark (Indians customarily refer to that number as one crore). In fact, the Activa, which is currently available in three versions (Activa i, Activa 125, and Activa 3G, introduced in February 2015), was India’s best-selling 2-wheeler in June and July 2015. Indian automotive website Cartrade.com reports sales of 2.1 million Activas in the last fiscal year, though they don’t say when that fiscal year begins and ends.

Think about that for a minute… OVER TWO MILLION SCOOTERS SOLD IN A YEAR? By ONE company?? Yes, by western standards the Activa is dirt cheap (on-the-road price for a 3G in Mumbai is ₹58,337, which is roughly $890 U.S. as this is written). Of course, prices for just about everything in India are as low as they are because wages and salaries are correspondingly low. And most Indians buy scooters because cars are either unaffordable or impractical in congested cities.

But in its most recent annual report, Piaggio was patting itself on the back for moving just 37000 scooters in North America. While growing that number would require almost no effort, they (and pretty much all the other 2-wheeler sellers in the U.S.) would much rather sell more expensive, higher-margin sportbikes and cruisers to an aging, dwindling customer base.

Word on the street says once Iran fully rejoins the world petroleum market, the price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. will fall below two dollars. Gas mileage will not be an incentive for Americans to buy scooters. Unfortunately, neither will good design, quality construction or solid reliability.

Poverty might… Favicon

The details

MSRP: ₹58,337 (3G, OTR Mumbai)
Built in: India
Construction: Tubular steel frame with attached plastic body panels
Wet weight:  238 lbs (108 kg)
Length: 69.3 in (1761 mm)
Width: 28 in (710mm)
Wheelbase: 48.7 in (1238 mm)
Seat height: 30.1 in (765 mm)
Front susp: Telescopic fork
Rear susp: Swingarm w/coil spring & telescopic damper
Front brake: Mechanical drum
Rear brake: Mechanical drum
Front tire: 90/100-10
Rear tire: 90/100-10
Engine: 109.2 cc air-cooled carbureted 4-stroke
Transmission:  CVT with centrifugal dry clutch
Power/torque: 7.8 hp (4.2 kw) @ 7500 rpm/6.45 ft-lbs (8.74 Nm) @ 5500 rpm
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