Honda is finding it difficult to keep up with the outrageous demand for the Activa 125 and dealers have used it as an opportunity to milk some extra money out of impatient customers.
While Hero MotoCorp has been leading the Indian two-wheeler market as a whole, the company is still far from gathering a sizeable position in the scooter space where Honda manages to beat every manufacturer with little effort. Such is the popularity of its best selling Activa scooter that seldom had the company gone forward to promote the scooter for better sales. On the contrary, the demand for the Activa has always surpassed supply with waiting periods extending to even 10 months for the model. With the more powerful 125cc version launched last year, the scenario is no different as the Honda Activa 125 commands a waiting period of six months in certain places.
The extensive waiting period however has given several Honda dealers the idea to milk customers of their impatience. Waiting almost half a year for a scooter rarely makes sense and this is where dealers are taking charge and demanding a premium of Rs. 10,000/- over the existing price for instant deliveries. A simple way to cut through the queue; customers end up paying the price of a Vespa in a bid to acquire the Activa 125. Even though the Vespa promises faster deliveries without any additional charge, the Activa’s strong brand image has made sure that customers do not deviate to other offerings in the segment.
Not surprisingly, the Honda Activa 125 commanded a 5 month waiting period right from the start even before the model was launched in April last year. While the company does have plans to expand its production set-up, it will still take time for Honda to increase output to meet the sales demand. In the mean time, the dealers are making sure to capitalize on the hype on the product as much as possible. With the change in excise duty norms, the Activa 125 is now priced at Rs. 64,964/- for the Standard version and Rs. 71,943/- (all prices on-road, Mumbai) for the Deluxe version with a front disc brake, alloy wheels and Combined Braking System (CBS).