Country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp is expecting a double-digit growth for its global business on the back of new launches and more focus on markets with potential of higher volumes, according to Chairman and Managing Director Pawan Munjal. The company, which is planning to enter Mexico next year, has also started export of motorcycles and scooters from its manufacturing facility at Vila Rica in Colombia to other countries in Latin America.
“We are optimistic of maintaining the growth trajectory in our global business in the current fiscal (2018-19),” Munjal, who is also the CEO of the company, told PTI. Riding on the robust growth in the Central American Cluster (CAC) and Bangladesh, Hero MotoCorp had posted 12.28 per cent growth in global sales at 2,04,484 units in 2017-18 as against 1,82,117 units in 2016-17.
Overall, Hero MotoCorp clocked its highest-ever annual sales of 75,87,130 units in 2017-18 as against 66,64,240 units in 2016-17, a growth of 14 per cent. Hero MotoCorp’s optimism for its global business to grow in double digits comes at a time when overseas markets had witnessed slowdown in recent years.
Over the past few years, most of the oil-dependent economies in Latin America and Africa were struggling. This had adversely impacted international sales of most Indian two-wheeler companies, Munjal said. “However, we utilised this downtime to build brand equity of Hero in global markets. This strategic brand building is now beginning to yield results,” he added. Elaborating on the company’s plans, he said:”Going forward, our strategy is to focus more on markets with potential of higher volumes, particularly on six clusters within our global markets.”
He further said:”We have also planned to launch a slew of new products, many of which have been designed specifically for global markets.” Hero MotoCorp will soon launch Thriller 200 motorcycle and Dash 125 scooter in the global markets. These products are respectively called Xtreme 200R and Maestro Edge 125, in India.
In Colombia, the homegrown major has introduced the Ignitor 125 (called Glamour in India), and the Eco100 specifically for the taxi segment. It has also launched the Dawn 100 with specially designed longer-seats for the African market, where two-wheelers are mostly used as taxis for commercial purposes.
On new market entry, he said: “Mexico is the next big market where we will be launching our products. We plan to be in that market by next year.” Sharing an update on Hero MotoCorp’s global manufacturing operations, he said,”we have now commenced exports of motorcycles and scooters from our manufacturing facility at Vila Rica in Colombia to Guatemala, El Salvador and Bolivia.”
Munjal further said: “This is in keeping with our strategic plan to make the Vila Rica facility an export hub to cater to the neighbouring Andean countries in the region.” Hero MotoCorp had commenced production at the plant in 2015. He also said the company has recently received necessary approval from the local government to sell Hero genuine parts ‘directly’ through its Colombian subsidiary.
“This will significantly improve customer satisfaction by making Hero genuine parts easily available to our customers. This will also generate additional revenue and profit for our business in Colombia,” Munjal said. Apart from the plant in Colombia, the company has one facility in Bangladesh, which commenced operations in 2017-18. The unit in Bangladesh has an installed capacity of 1.5 lakh units per annum, while the Colombia plant has a capacity of 80,000 units per annum.