Two years after parting ways with its 27-year-old partner Honda Motor Corp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, on Wednesday said it is working towards raising its share in the domestic market to a level beyond what it had achieved with Honda.
Hero’s hold on the domestic market, the world’s second-largest two-wheeler market, has weakened over the last few years with its marketshare slipping from almost 49% in 2008-09 to under 43% in 2012-13. During the period, Honda has risen to the number 2 slot, with a current marketshare of over 20%.
“At the time of the separation, we were very clear that thre will be some decline in sales, marketshare or stock price in the following two-three years,” said Pawan Munjal, managing director, Hero MotoCorp. “Frankly, the loss has been much lower than what we had thought. It takes time to build products on time but from September, we will have a lot of new products and there is huge confidence that we will bounce back and not only regain our share but go beyond .”
Honda has openly voiced its ambition to overtake Hero and emerge as the largest in the business by as early as 2016. It is quickly ramping up its capacity and has introduced products in the 100cc commuter mobike segment, where it was dormant with Hero. The segment accounts for a bulk of industry sales and has been a Hero bastion for a long time. Hero said it is up for the fight.
“We have been the fastest to achieve 50 million unit sales globally and 85-90% of them are still on roads,” Munjal said. “Our technology in the past has been robust. We are not looking at matching them (Honda) but going beyond that.”
Hero has tied up with three global technology partners and has beefed up its in-house R&D strength from under 200 to over 400 engineers.