Analysing Two-wheeler Sales Data in Bengaluru and Karnataka

June 26, 2023 Vaidya R

One of the common complaints in Bengaluru every time the issue of traffic is discussed is how the number of private vehicles is increasing rapidly while the public transport has not kept pace. As much as this is true, a look at the vehicle registration data, and the sales of vehicles in general, can tell us an interesting story about how the city as well as the state are doing economy-wise.

For the purpose of this analysis, we look only at two-wheelers data as they are the most affordable among the vehicles that are registered and also the most numerous. 67% of the total vehicles in Bengaluru as of 2023 are two-wheelers, while in Karnataka this proportion goes up to 71%.

Two-wheeler numbers in Bengaluru and Karnataka

As of April 1st 2023, there are 1.09 Crore vehicles registered in Bengaluru, of which 73 Lakh are two-wheelers. Six years back, in 2017, the number of two-wheelers was 51 Lakh – a 41% increase in the past six years.

Correspondingly, in Karnataka as a whole, 2.11 Crore two-wheelers were registered as of April 2023 and 1.49 Cr as of 2017. This means that outside Bengaluru Urban district there are 1.38 Crore two-wheelers registered as of 2023, and the figure was 97.7 Lakh in 2017 – an increase of 41% in the last six years, the same as in Bengaluru Urban.

Not only has the rate of increase been the same between 2017 and 2023, the proportion of two-wheelers registered in Karnataka that are from Bengaluru has seen very little change in the past six years.

As can be seen above, the total two-wheelers registered in Bengaluru has been between 34 and 35% of the total state’s numbers every year in the last six years. Basically, one out of every three two-wheelers registered in Karnataka was in Bengaluru Urban.

Population vs GSDP

According to the Economic Survey of Karnataka, 2022, the total population of Karnataka is assumed to be 6.61 Cr, of which 1.04 Cr are in Bengaluru Urban, less than 16%.

Despite this, the share in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Bengaluru Urban is much higher – 37%. This is close to Bengaluru Urban’s share in two-wheeler registrations.

Annual rate of increase in registrations from 2017 to 2023

While the number of two-wheelers increased by 41% in Karnataka and Bengaluru Urban between 2017 and 2023, a closer look at the year-on-year growth paints a different picture. In this period, there has been a slowdown in two-wheeler sales across the country owing to a slowing economy as well as the pandemic. The sales are yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Domestic two-wheeler sales. Src: Economic Times

The situation is no different in Bengaluru Urban and Karnataka.

While Bengaluru Urban is showing some signs of recovery with the 2023 numbers being close to pre-pandemic (2019-20) levels, the rest of Karnataka is still far from those levels. This could be a sign of distress and poor demands in the rest of the state. More research and analysis are needed to understand the demand in the rest of the state.