With a sales gap of as close as 12,000 units with the arch rival Honda for the last month, it is getting almost certain that the inevitable is bound to happen. The question is – by how much can Hero delay Honda’s rise to the top slot as the largest selling two-wheeler manufacturer in India.
They have also suffered two major setbacks recently – lost out to Honda for the third spot in biggest exporters list (more details) and they also awarded the second largest scooter seller spot to TVS (link to report). The problem is crystal clear – their excessive focus and dependence on 100-125 cc commuter market. It has costed them dearly and in the list of the five least selling 150cc motorcycles for last year, they featured with two models – Hunk and Xtreme!
Nonetheless, Hero is trying their way and have earmarked about Rs 2500 Crore for new product development, capacity expansion, modernisation and upgradation of existing plants.
Pawan Minjal, chairman of Hero MotoCorp has announced as many as six new product launches this financial year 2017-18 according to a report at Times of India. He said,
“With half a dozen new launches slated for FY’18, we will go for aggressive market share gains,”
And it appears that there may be a shift in the thought process as Mr Munjal also confirmed that the focus will be on scooters and premium (motorcycle?) segments.
In the pending list are Xtreme 200S (which is scheduled for this financial year) and the terribly delayed HX 250R which is not even talked about by the manufacturer. And then they have also assured us that the Karizma brand will be reincarnated after its debacle in 2014.