Will start selling in 10 new markets in LatAm, Africa by Mar: Hero MotoCorp

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 5 2013, 02:36am hrs
The country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp on Monday said it will start selling its products in 8-10 new markets in Latin America and Africa by the end of March this year as it looks to increase exports.

"We are planning to launch our products in 8-10 new markets in Latin America and Africa by March. This is as per our plans to export one million units across the world by 2016-17," Hero MotoCorp (HMC) Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Anil Dua told PTI.

At present, the company exports its products only to Colombia in Latin America.

Dua, however, declined to share details such as which are the markets or how many units the company plans to export.

According to sources, HMC has already started initial operations in some Latin American nations like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and is getting ready to start its business in four to five African markets.

"Hero has already started despatching its two-wheelers to three countries in Latin America. The first consignment to these markets was despatched just a few weeks back," a source said, adding HMC has also finalised distributors and channel partners in some markets in Africa.

Sources also said the company plans to set up assembly units in some of these markets once the volumes pick up.

The Latin American market is currently dominated by Japanese makers such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Besides, there are also some Asian firms present from China and Taiwan.

HMC had announced its global brand launch in 2011 and had planned to expand its international business to 30 countries, spanning across Africa, Latin America, America and South-East Asia in a bid to garner 10 per cent of its total sales from overseas operations in the following five-six years.

In September last year, the company had launched the Hero brand in its existing international markets such as Sri Lanka and Nepal.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, HMC's exports declined by 18.27 per cent at 1,21,859 units during April-December period this fiscal.

Yesterday, the company had reported its highest ever monthly sales at 5,57,797 units in January 2013. However, as per SIAM data, HMC's total domestic sales so far in this fiscal have come down by 1.99 per cent at 44,24,371 units.

"With robust sales since festive period and highest ever monthly sales in January, we are moving up and the fourth quarter also looks good. Our attempt is to be in the positive this fiscal," Dua said.

The company is expecting better sales during 2013-14 on the basis of low sales in this fiscal and 7-8 new launches, including new models, variants and refreshes, he added.

Dua also said the company is expanding the production capacities of its scooters and 125 cc segment motorcycles, in which it witnessed 33 per cent and 36 per cent growth in last month, respectively.

"We are increasing the monthly scooter capacity to 60,000 units from 40,000 units earlier. The capacity of 125 cc bikes is also enhanced to around 70,000 units a month from 60,000 earlier," he added.

Shares of HMC were trading 0.48 per cent up at Rs 1,822 apiece on BSE during late afternoon trade.