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Consumers find scooters more satisfying than bikes: Survey

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Bajaj tops in geared scooters; Hero Honda in ungeared

New Delhi , Sept. 13

Though scooters are touted as a declining segment of the two-wheeler industry in comparison to a far more active motorcycle segment, it is clearly delivering higher satisfaction to its buyers, according to the Scooter Total Customer Satisfaction Survey done by TNS Automotives.

While comparing the companies that make motorcycles as well as scooters, Bajaj Auto is the only company whose scooter customers are less satisfied than its motorcycle customers. In contrast Hero Honda, which has entered the scooter market recently, has been able to keep up consumer satisfaction with its maiden offering `Pleasure.' As a company, it leads the satisfaction scores among motorcycle owners as well as scooter owners.

But on the positive side, the battle is far from over for Bajaj in the geared scooters segment, where even Honda finds it difficult to beat the `Hamara Bajaj' syndrome. In this segment, Chetak 4S shares the top honours with Honda's Eterno. Though Eterno scores far higher on quality, Chetak 4S makes up with a much higher score on sales satisfaction.

Among the ungeared scooters segment, Hero Honda's Pleasure tops the rankings followed by Honda's Activa. "Interestingly though both products share the same broad platform, Pleasure scores higher on performance, design and quality. In addition it rides on the strong brand image of Hero Honda," said Mr Pradeep Saxena, Senior Vice-President, TNS Automotive. However, Pleasure's male customers are a tad more satisfied than its women buyers, thus putting to rest the myth that it's a scooter targeted at women.

In the scooterette segment, TVS Scooty Pep Plus, the indigenously developed product is the top scoring model in the entire scooter industry. It is also the only model to achieve a three digit score on performance and design in 2006 amongst all two wheelers.

However, Mr Chris Bonsi, Regional Director, TNS Automotive cautions, "As per the study, satisfaction levels for scooterettes drop much faster with their ownership period compared to scooters, geared or ungeared. Manufacturers must pay attention to this as this steep fall happens due to quality and cost of ownership, an area very close to the heart of Indian consumers."

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