Hero Honda Now Renamed As Hero Moto Corp.

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Hero MotoCorp, India's biggest two-wheeler manufacturer, will spend Rs 25.75 billion on two new factories to be operational by the second quarter of the next financial year, the automaker's managing director said.

The two new plants will take the company's total capacity to above 9 million vehicles from 7 million currently, Pawan Munjal said.

Hero MotoCorp to invest $463 million in 2 new plants - The Economic Times
 
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Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp today said its first bike without the technology of erstwhile partner Honda will hit the market by 2014.

"We are working with different technology partners. Our first bike without Honda technology will be launched in 2014," Hero MotoCorp Managing Director and CEO Pawan Munjal told PTI.

The bike could be developed in India or anywhere but it would be on a completely new platform, he added.

The company continues to use Honda technology for its products after the break up of their joint venture, Hero Honda. It has has a licence agreement with the Japanese firm till 2014.

In December 2010, the Hero Group and Honda had agreed to end their 26-year-old relationship with the Indian partner agreeing to buy out the latter's 26 per cent stake in Hero Honda for Rs 3,841.83 crore.

Since then the company has been stepping up partnership with other global firms.

In February this year, the firm had entered into technology sourcing pact with US-based Erik Buell Racing (EBR) to strengthen presence in the high-end bike segment.

Munjal had then said the company has already started work on some of its existing products and also on completely new product using technology from EBR and a new product could be launched by calendar year 2013.

The company had also entered into an alliance with Austria-based engine developer AVL to enhance capability in different engine segments.

"We have already started work with AVL and we are happy with the progress," Munjal said. He, however, added that it was difficult to put a timeline as to when a new bike with AVL engine technology could hit the market.

Asked if Hero MotoCorp plans to launch low cost bikes, he said: "We keep on working to push the cost down. I have never lost focus on reducing cost. You never know one day we may come up with a really low cost bike but that does not mean we are really working on it now."

First bike without Honda technology by 2014: Hero MotoCorp - The Economic Times
 
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Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp today said its first bike without the technology of erstwhile partner Honda will hit the market by 2014.

"We are working with different technology partners. Our first bike without Honda technology will be launched in 2014," Hero MotoCorp Managing Director and CEO Pawan Munjal told PTI.

The bike could be developed in India or anywhere but it would be on a completely new platform, he added.

The company continues to use Honda technology for its products after the break up of their joint venture, Hero Honda. It has has a licence agreement with the Japanese firm till 2014.

In December 2010, the Hero Group and Honda had agreed to end their 26-year-old relationship with the Indian partner agreeing to buy out the latter's 26 per cent stake in Hero Honda for Rs 3,841.83 crore.

Since then the company has been stepping up partnership with other global firms.

In February this year, the firm had entered into technology sourcing pact with US-based Erik Buell Racing (EBR) to strengthen presence in the high-end bike segment.

Munjal had then said the company has already started work on some of its existing products and also on completely new product using technology from EBR and a new product could be launched by calendar year 2013.

The company had also entered into an alliance with Austria-based engine developer AVL to enhance capability in different engine segments.

"We have already started work with AVL and we are happy with the progress," Munjal said. He, however, added that it was difficult to put a timeline as to when a new bike with AVL engine technology could hit the market.

Asked if Hero MotoCorp plans to launch low cost bikes, he said: "We keep on working to push the cost down. I have never lost focus on reducing cost. You never know one day we may come up with a really low cost bike but that does not mean we are really working on it now."

First bike without Honda technology by 2014: Hero MotoCorp - The Economic Times
 
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Soft launched: 2012 hero motocorp ignitor 125cc motorcycle at a price of inr 55,900 ex-showroom delhi
 
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Hero Moto doesn't seems to good. But they must have thought some strategy behind it. Lets see how much they succeed.
 
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The past month has seen a lot of action in the two-wheeler market in India, the world’s largest after China. Most OEMs, particularly Japanese companies like Honda and Yamaha, have revealed aggressive capacity expansion plans as also new models in the pipeline. Furthermore, with petrol prices skyrocketing in the past month, two-wheeler companies are likely to benefit as consumers, who are delaying their car-buying decisions, put their money on two wheels as a cheaper mobility option.

Recognising the trend Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, has revealed an aggressive growth plan. On June 4, it announced an investment of Rs 2,575 crore in expanding capacity at its three existing plants, setting up two new plants (one at Neemrana in Rajasthan and the other in Gujarat) and, importantly, an integrated technology and R&D centre at Kukas in Jaipur.

The company will make an initial investment of Rs 400 crore in the Neemrana facility. Construction of the new unit is to commence soon and it is slated to be operational by the first quarter of FY 2014. The plant will have an installed capacity of 750,000 units per annum and will provide direct employment to over 1,000 people.

Hero MotoCorp has also signed a state support agreement (SSA) with the Gujarat government to set up a new plant in the state; the specific location is as yet not disclosed though land acquisition is underway. The plant will become operational by the second quarter of FY 2014 and will see an investment of Rs 1,100 crore. While the installed capacity of this plant will be 1.2 million units per annum, the second phase will see a rise in this number to 1.8 million units. The unit will provide direct employment to over 2,000 people. This is the second new plant announcement in Gujarat in the past fortnight; on June 2, Maruti Suzuki had announced its plans to set up its all-new unit at Mehsana.

PawanMunjal, Hero MotoCorp's MD and CEO, said that the choice of these two states is because both Rajasthan and Gujarat have offered Hero MotoCorp financial incentives over and above others. “Slowly, we will move down to southern states as well,” he added.

Funding for the new investments will be met through internal accruals as the company has a cash surplus of Rs 4,000 crore, generating Rs 2,500 crore cash surplus each year.



For Hero MotoCorp, the two new plants will help augment its total installed capacity to nine million units in two years, which is in line with the company’s objective of reaching 10 million units in the next five years with the contributions from assembly units overseas. The two-wheeler manufacturer currently has a total installed capacity of around 6.2 million units in its three plants at Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Dharuhera and Gurgaon (Haryana). The company will also invest Rs 500 crore in expanding existing capacity, mainly at the Haridwar plant.

R&D is new mantra

After its much-publicised split with Honda Motor Company on December 16, 2010, Hero MotoCorp has been pushing for technology development and upgradation and the plan to set up the R&D centre is clearly a move in that direction. The research unit, which will be spread over 250 acres, will be the largest two-wheeler R&D centre in the country. Hero MotoCorp plans to invest Rs 400 crore in the facility which will involve 500 engineers.

Having already tied up with motorcycle company Erik Buell Racing (EBR) of the US for technology sharing in February 2012 and engine developer AVL of Austria for bike and engine technologies in March, the company is also exploring additional strategic alliances and partnerships to further scale up its R&D capabilities. Importantly, the R&D centre will enable Hero MotoCorp to strengthen its technological expertise, an area which the company has, till now, been somewhat weak in, having relied on Honda’s might for over a quarter of a century.

The two-wheeler maker is also exploring setting up assembly units in international markets mostly through partnerships, for which paperwork is underway. Later it will look at establishing manufacturing facilities as volumes rise commensurate with demand. Initially the thrust will be on new markets in Central America and Africa where exports of two-wheelers will be in the form of CBU units to be followed by CKD and SKD versions. The first exports to these markets will kick off in the next quarter between July and September 2012 under the Hero brand name.

According to Munjal, growth in these countries is happening earlier than in Latin America, more specifically in Brazil which has different requirements for engines. Brazil uses an ethanol mix in engines and as such the power plants would have to be tweaked for use in that country. “We will target Brazil when we are ready with those engines,” he remarked.

Elaborating further, he said that “our initial focus is on markets where the volumes are large, and products can be sold with minimum changes. So right now, our existing products with suitable modifications will be made available in these new international markets. We have already identified partners for these markets. We expect a growth of at least 25 percent in our international business in the first year of our opening these new markets.”

At present, exports form three percent of the total product basket and the company expects to touch 10 percent of its total production of 10 million units over the next five years.

Brand Hero

Following the break-up with Honda, the company is now focusing on pushing the Hero brand in its new range of products. The first two products – the segment-creating 149cc on- and off-road Impulse motorcycle and the 109cc Maestro scooter – have been already launched with the Hero branding. The company, which had a 56 percent share of the motorcycle market in 2011-12, is slated to roll out two new models; the 125cc Ignitor motorcycle, which was displayed at the Auto Expo 2012, will be introduced soon. The Splendor and Passion have already been re-launched under the Hero brand name and the entire re-branding exercise will be completed by the second quarter of 2012-13.


Despite intensifying competition in the domestic motorcycle market, Hero MotoCorp has maintained its market share at around 55 percent over many years. As per a recent ICRA report, in the 75-125cc segment (that represented 70.3 percent of total motorcycle sales in 2011-12), Hero had an overwhelming share of 75 percent (71 percent in 2010-11). Its market leadership in the 100cc commuter segment is not likely to come under threat anytime soon, albeit some commuter bikes have rolled out recently – Honda’s Dream Yuga and Suzuki’s Hayate.

Despite being among the oldest two-wheeler brands in India, Hero MotoCorp’s CD Dawn/Deluxe, Splendor and Passion continue to enjoy strong brand equity in both rural and urban markets, thanks to regular product upgrades on the common platform.

The manufacturer is optimistic about the scooter segment and according to Munjal, the Maestro has received a good response in line with the rising fortunes of the scooter segment in India. Hero MotoCorp had a 16.3 percent share of the scooter market in 2011-12 and clearly wants more of the pie with its Pleasure and Maestro models.

Compared to bikes, the faster volume growth of the scooter segment is expected to be driven by the growing acceptability of gearless scooters by women, rising urbanisation and the increasing population of working women, expanding product offerings and a comparatively lower base. Accordingly, the scooters segment is expected to gradually increase its share from 19.1 percent in 2011-12 to over 27 percent by 2016-17. This means volumes in the domestic scooter market are estimated to double by 2016-17 over their current levels.

On the sales front, despite the sluggish market sentiment, Hero MotoCorp notched sales of 556,644 motorcycles and scooters in May 2012. It opened fiscal 2012-13 with sales of 551,557 units in April 2012. The company’s management has forecast growth of 9-10 percent for FY13 with volumes of 6.8 to seven million units.

SIAM has forecast an 11-13 percent growth for 2012-13 for the overall two-wheeler industry which sold 13.4 million units in 2011-12, recording 14.16 percent growth. But Hero MotoCorp is looking beyond that, readying future capacity in time for FY 2014, when the two new plants go on stream. And giving a fillip to that ambition will be a beefed-up R&D programme.

INTERVIEW WITH PAWAN MUNJAL, MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO, HERO MOTOCORP

What role will the new R&D centre at Kukas play?

We will establish a state-of-the-art centre for research, design and innovation on 250 acres at Kukas, Jaipur in Rajasthan. This will be the largest R&D centre for two-wheelers in the country.

We will also have a wide variety of test tracks including a high-speed test track which will be over 2km-long and useful for testing high-end bikes. This technology centre will have prototype and in-house testing facilities.

How will you staff the R&D team?

Hero MotoCorp is ramping up its R&D set-up both in terms of infrastructure and people. There are currently close to 300 engineers at our R&D set-ups at our Gurgaon and Dharuhera plants. We are strengthening our own capabilities both organically as well as through tie-ups, for example, with EBR and AVL.

What has been the response to the Impulse thus far?

The Impulse, the first Hero-branded two-wheeler, has been received well and is also generating volumes in upcountry markets. This adds to our strong portfolio in the premium segment comprising the Hunk, CBZ Xtreme, Karizma and ZMR. After the Impulse, we have recently launched our first scooter under the new Hero brand — the 110cc Maestro which is a sturdy, feature-loaded scooter targeted at young college-going males, and first-jobbers.

Currently, scooters are outpacing motorcycles in terms of growth. Are you planning to add new scooters to your portfolio?

Our current offering, the Pleasure — specifically targeted at women customers — has helped expand the scooter market. Now with the launch of the Maestro, we are clocking an average of about 40,000 units of both scooters every month, and are confident of further increasing our presence in the gearless scooter market.

What is Hero MotoCorp’s current market share?

In the past one year, our share in the domestic motorcycle market has grown from 54 percent a year ago to over 55 percent at present. We are moving with great speed towards giving shape to the vision that I outlined at the launch of our new brand identity in London in June last year.

What is your vision for the company, in terms of positioning it globally?

Now that we are on the threshold of becoming a truly global company, our initial focus is on markets where the volumes are large, and products can be sold with minimum changes. So right now, our existing products with suitable modifications will be made available in these new global for which we have already identified partners.

We expect a growth of at least 25 percent in our international business within the first year of our opening these new markets. These exports will begin in the July-September 2012 quarter and includes countries in Central America and in Africa, all under the Hero brand name.
 

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Hero MotoCorp to set up an R&D unit in Rajhasthan.

Hero MotoCorp to set up an R&D unit in RajasthanIndia's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp has stated that it would soon set up an integrated state-of-the-art research and development centre in Rajasthan. The company which parted from Honda of Japan after 26 years of successful joint venture is looking to boost its own products line.
According to reports, the plant, spread over 250 acres at Kukas in Jaipur, would be the largest two-wheeler R&D centre in the country. Hero MotoCorp has recently launched the company's latest offering, the 125cc motorcycle 'Ignitor' in the region.

It had also launched the 150cc motorcycle Impulse and scooterette Maestro with the 'Hero' badge this year. HeroMotoCorp sold 5,34,091 units in June against 5,56,644 units in May. The company sold 16,42,292 units in April-June period as against 15,29,577 units in the year-ago period.
 
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The largest two-wheeler maker from India, Hero MotoCorp which has been looking to expand its presence overseas after the Honda JV exit, has reportedly made its first investment in an overseas company. According to a report in The Business Line, the company has invested $20 million (about Rs 110 crore) into US-based Erik Buell Racing (EBR).
According to the reports, with the fresh funds, EBR is expected to bolster Hero’s R&D efforts in modifying existing products and work on new bike design and development. This is critical for Hero to maintain its leadership in the local market and expand globally - the technology support from erstwhile partner Honda ends in June 2014. It was also mentioned that the investment will also help EBR expand its Milwaukee production capacity and hire more people in its own R&D team.

It can be recalled that Hero had entered into a strategic agreement with EBR this February, and had also announced sponsorship of two EBR-powered teams in a US superbike racing championship. The report stated that the investment in EBR is believed to be a part of the Rs 2,575-crore funding plan announced by the company in June. While a chunk of the funds (Rs 2,000 crore) are to go into the two new plants being set up in Gujarat and Rajasthan and expansion of the three existing facilities, the rest is expected to go into R&D efforts, including a new 250-acre facility for the purpose at Jaipur.

Hero MotoCorp invests Rs 110 crore in Erik Buell Racing | WheelsUnplugged
 
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Re: Hero Honda To Be Renamed As Hero Moto

The largest two-wheeler maker from India, Hero MotoCorp which has been looking to expand its presence overseas after the Honda JV exit, has reportedly made its first investment in an overseas company. According to a report in The Business Line, the company has invested $20 million (about Rs 110 crore) into US-based Erik Buell Racing (EBR).
According to the reports, with the fresh funds, EBR is expected to bolster Hero’s R&D efforts in modifying existing products and work on new bike design and development. This is critical for Hero to maintain its leadership in the local market and expand globally - the technology support from erstwhile partner Honda ends in June 2014. It was also mentioned that the investment will also help EBR expand its Milwaukee production capacity and hire more people in its own R&D team.

It can be recalled that Hero had entered into a strategic agreement with EBR this February, and had also announced sponsorship of two EBR-powered teams in a US superbike racing championship. The report stated that the investment in EBR is believed to be a part of the Rs 2,575-crore funding plan announced by the company in June. While a chunk of the funds (Rs 2,000 crore) are to go into the two new plants being set up in Gujarat and Rajasthan and expansion of the three existing facilities, the rest is expected to go into R&D efforts, including a new 250-acre facility for the purpose at Jaipur.

Hero MotoCorp invests Rs 110 crore in Erik Buell Racing | WheelsUnplugged
 
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Hero Motocorp unveiled new identity in Sri Lanka

Hero Motocorp, country’s largest two wheeler manufacturer has expanded its footprint in neighboring country “Sri Lanka”. The company has launched 14 models in Sri Lanka under its new brand identit. These 14 models include company’s motorcycles Deluxe, Dawn, Pro, Splendor NXG, Super Splendor, Glamour, Passion Pro, Karizma ZMR, Hunk, Xtreme and Achiever and its scooter Pleasure.

The company has appointed ABANS Group as its sole distributor in Sri Lanka. ABNAS group will sell Hero Motocorp’s products thorough 50 outlets in Sri Lanka. The launch ceremony was attended by Sri Lankan cricket star Kumar Sangakkara who introduced Glamour motorcycle and Miss Sri Lanka Stephanie Siriwardhana who introduced Pleasure scooter.

Pawan Munjal, MD & CEO of Hero Motocorp said”Sri Lanka has been a very important market for us, and we have a loyal customer base in this country. It gives me immense pleasure to announce the choice of ABANS group as our partner in this market. The Sri Lankan market plays a significant role in the company’s plans to expand its global footprint and so it has chosen the country as the first international market to launch the new brand identity:

He also added “Hero MotoCorp today launched brand ‘Hero’ and its range of two-wheelers in Sri Lanka, marking the brand’s first foray into the international market since the launch of its new brand identity just over a year ago. These products are being distributed through a network of more than 50 outlets spread across the country, with an equal number of new outlets to be added in the next one year.”

He also said that the company will soon add new territories like Africa and Latin America in order to achieve its objective of having 10% sales from export down the line five years. As domestic market is slowing down Hero Motocorp is aggressively expanding in the international market. Sri Lankan two wheeler market is dominated by Bajaj Auto and it is interesting to watch how Hero Motocorp will make its own identity in this market.
 
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Hero Motocorp to Cut Production in September

Country’s largest two wheeler manufacturers Hero Motocorp will cut production by 15-18% in the month of September compared to its average five months production of financial year 2012-13. The production cut will help company to normalize the inventory level at its plant and dealership. The company has seen slowdown in retail sales in the month of July and August and it expects it to continue in the month of September as well. The company will produce around 4.48 lakhs units in the month of September as per the production plan sent to vendors.

Demand for flagship model Splendor has reached all time low lever for the year 2012. The company will dispatch little over 1.20 lakh units of Splendor in the month of September compared to dispatch of 2.2 lakhs to 2.4 lakhs units during April to July 2012 period. The company dispatched around 1.73 lakhs units of Splendor in the month of August.

Pawan Munjal, MD & CEO of Hero Motocorp said “We have seen a slowdown in retail sales for the two-wheeler industry in July and August and it is expected to continue in September; so we are correcting production in order to avoid an inventory pile-up, which has been happening over the last few months. We have inventory stuck at our plants and with our dealers. We will ensure that there is sufficient stock available at the dealerships to leverage the high retail opportunity that comes with the festive season. All our brands are in good health, and we have a robust communication plan leading up to the festive season,”

It is to be noted that the slowdown in the two wheeler industry was started with the beginning of financial year 2012-13. Hero Motocorp continuously dispatched more units compared to retail sales during the period of April to July 2012. The company avoided the weak demand sentiment. It appears that the company anticipated that demand will peak up in the monsoon season. However, weak monsoon worsen the demand of two wheelers and left the company with historical high level of inventory. It also appears that there is shift of costumer to Honda Dream Yuga from Hero Splendor.

Compared to Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors kept their inventory level in check and reported flat or negative sales during the period of April to August 2012. The sentiment for two wheeler demand will remain weak for the financial year 2012-13. The festive season may help companies to have some good sales but after that industry could face major slowdown in demand.

Dream Yuga Drives HMSI
 
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Hero MotoCorp to complete dropping Honda tag from all models this month

The country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp will complete dropping the badge of its erstwhile joint venture partner Honda from all its existing products within this month, two years ahead of schedule.

Buoyed by good response to its new model Maestro, which was launched under the Hero brand, the company is also doubling its scooter production capacity to 60,000 units a month.

Moreover, it is also hiking the production capacity of its 125 cc bikes to 75,000 units a month.

"The acceptance of our new identity and the market response that we have received on our three new Hero branded models--Impulse, Maestro and Ignitor--make us confident to go ahead. Our entire range of products would have moved to the Hero brand within this month," Hero MotoCorp Senior Vice-President (Marketing & Sales) Anil Dua told PTI.

The company had begun the exercise of dropping the Honda badge from its products starting with its best selling model range Splendor in April this year.

"Now almost all of the models have moved to the Hero brand and only CD Dawn and CD Deluxe are left," he said.

Currently the company sells 18 models in the market, out of which three were launched under the Hero brand after the firm announced its new brand identity in London last August. The 15 other models have been sold under the erstwhile Hero Honda brand.

As part of their parting agreement, Hero MotoCorp has time till 2014 to use the Honda brand in its products. In December 2010, the Indian promoter of the firm, the B M Munjal family, had agreed to buyout the entire 26 per cent stake of Honda in Hero Honda for Rs 3,841.83 crore. It brought an end to a 26-year-old successful joint venture.

On increasing scooter production capacity, Dua said: "The Maestro, which is targeted to young men, has done well. It has complemented our other scooter Pleasure which is targeted to women. Therefore, we are increasing scooter capacity to 60,000 units a month".

Earlier the company had a scooter production capacity of about 30,000 units a month. Its scooter sales in August stood at 42,836 units, a jump of 51.62 per cent from the same month last year.

For the April-August period this fiscal, Hero MotoCorp's scooter sales were at 1,87,846 units as against 1,58,825 units in the year-ago period, up 18.27 per cent.

Commenting on the 125cc bike segment, he said: "With Ignitor coming in, we have expanded the portfolio in this segment to four models. Also, we are increasing the production capacity of this segment to 75,000 units a month and we may even increase it further"

The company's existing capacity is about 60,000 units per month, he said, adding, "we are doing extremely well and moving faster in the 125 cc segment in this otherwise suppressed market"

Hero MotoCorp to complete dropping Honda tag from all models this month - The Economic Times
 
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Hero MotoCorp ties up with Italy's Engines Engineering


Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorpBSE 1.48 % Ltd (HMCL) today said it has roped in Italian two-wheeler design firm Engines Engineering to partner with it in bringing next-generation product line-up.

Under the partnership, the Bologna-based firm will impart technological know-how in terms of designing for future products to be launched by HMCL, the company said in a statement.

Commenting on the development, HMCL Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Pawan Munjal said: "I am sure the partnership with Engines Engineering, along with our other technology alliances, will result in offering cutting-edge technology and visionary styling in all our future products."

Describing the partnership as long-term, he further said: "There is immense scope to expand this alliance as we go along."

Engines Engineering CEO Alberto Strazzari said: "It is not just a business partnership, it is also a meeting of minds."

The partnership is the third one that Hero MotoCorp has formed since announcing its new identity in August last year after the break up of erstwhile Hero Honda, its joint venture with Japan's Honda Motor Co.

Earlier this year, the company entered into technology sourcing pact with US-based Erik Buell Racing as it looked to strengthen presence in the high-end bike segment.

Later, it also tied up with Austrian engine developer AVL to enhance its capabilities.

Set-up in 1979, Engines Engineering is an end-to-end motorcycle designer. Its expertise starts from conception and design to styling, on line assembly, industrialisation, and marketing.

Hero MotoCorp ties up with Italy's Engines Engineering - The Economic Times
 
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Hero MotoCorp ties up with Italy's Engines Engineering


Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorpBSE 1.48 % Ltd (HMCL) today said it has roped in Italian two-wheeler design firm Engines Engineering to partner with it in bringing next-generation product line-up.

Under the partnership, the Bologna-based firm will impart technological know-how in terms of designing for future products to be launched by HMCL, the company said in a statement.

Commenting on the development, HMCL Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Pawan Munjal said: "I am sure the partnership with Engines Engineering, along with our other technology alliances, will result in offering cutting-edge technology and visionary styling in all our future products."

Describing the partnership as long-term, he further said: "There is immense scope to expand this alliance as we go along."

Engines Engineering CEO Alberto Strazzari said: "It is not just a business partnership, it is also a meeting of minds."

The partnership is the third one that Hero MotoCorp has formed since announcing its new identity in August last year after the break up of erstwhile Hero Honda, its joint venture with Japan's Honda Motor Co.

Earlier this year, the company entered into technology sourcing pact with US-based Erik Buell Racing as it looked to strengthen presence in the high-end bike segment.

Later, it also tied up with Austrian engine developer AVL to enhance its capabilities.

Set-up in 1979, Engines Engineering is an end-to-end motorcycle designer. Its expertise starts from conception and design to styling, on line assembly, industrialisation, and marketing.

Hero MotoCorp ties up with Italy's Engines Engineering - The Economic Times
 
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Honda leaves behind Hero MotoCorp in numbers race during April-September in subdued market

It's still the hero, but since ending their joint venture with Honda almost two years ago, the leadership status of the Munjals' two-wheeler business has taken a couple of knocks from rivals; the biggest of those blows have been struck by its former Japanese partner. In the first half of fiscal year 2013, Hero MotoCorp's share has slipped to 42.7% from 45.3% in the April-September period of the previous fiscal year. The biggest gainer in this period: Honda Motorcycle & Scooter Ltd (HMSI), which has gained almost 6 percentage points in these six months over a year ago.

More worryingly for Hero MotoCorp, it's been a systematic slide month on month since the new fiscal year began. From 46.2% in April 2012, the share of India's largest two-wheeler maker tumbled to 36.8% for the month of September. Virtually every other maker of scooters and mobikes has gained at the Munjals' expense over these six months; the biggest gainer, here again, is its erstwhile ally Honda.

Analysts attribute Hero MotoCorp's to a slowdown in sales in rural India, which is its mainstay; HMSI for its part has gained on the back of robust demand for scooters, which account for half of two-wheeler sales. In the six months between April and September compared to the previous year's corresponding period, HMSI was the only one to gain share. "If the others have to keep Honda's growth in check, they have to launch newer products in the mass market," says Mahantesh Sabarad, senior analyst at Fortune Equity. In late-June, HMSI entered the entry-level market in style with the Dream Yuga 110 cc mobike aggressively priced in the sub- 45,000 cc bracket.

The market share picture clearly indicates that HMSI has been bucking the trend in this slowing two wheeler market-in the first six months of fiscal 2013, whilst the motorcycles segment declined 0.79% to 4.97 million units, scooters grew 20.46% to 1.42 million units.

Says Y S Guleria, vice president, sales and marketing, HMSI: "We are the fastest growing two-wheeler company in the country currently. We have grown by 64% in motorcycles and 39% in automatic scooters in the first six months. Honda's product quality and benchmark features, continue to drive consumers to our brand."

Hero Moto Corp's sharpest dip in share was in September, by all of 4 percentage points, from 40.8% in August. A Hero MotoCorp spokesperson attributes that dip to "production adjustments and stock corrections."

He adds that the "Splendor continues to be the largest-selling motorcycle brand in the world, with some 12.33 lakh of them being bought in the April to September period.

Honda leaves behind Hero MotoCorp in numbers race during April-September in subdued market - The Economic Times
 

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