Honda Sets 2020 Tar­get to Win Top Slot in In­dia

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Sharmistha.Mukher­jee

Kar­nataka: Honda Mo­tor­cy­cle & Scooter In­dia (HMSI) on Wed­nes­day an­nounced its lo­cal lead­er­ship am­bi­tions by 2020, fore­telling an ac­cel­er­at­ing solo ride for the Ja­panese bike-maker that had part­nered the Hero Group for more than two decades to set dura­bil­ity bench­marks for suc­cess­ful joint ven­tures in the coun­try.

Shinji Aoyama, chief of­fi­cer, re­gional op­er­a­tions (Asia & Ocea­nia), Honda Mo­tor Com­pany said that “2020 could be a pos­si­ble year for us to be­come num­ber one. The mar­ket may con­tract when prod­uct prices go up upon im­ple­men­ta­tion of BS VI emis­sion norms in 2020. We be­lieve we are bet­ter placed for that ap­pli­ca­tion than our com­peti­tors.” Hero Mo­toCorp de­clined to com­ment on the lat­est an­nounce­ment of lead­er­ship goals by its for­mer part­ner. To be sure, Shinji Aoyama had said in 2013 that HMSI was ad­vanc­ing its lead­er­ship tar­get by five years and could be­come the lead­ing two-wheeler maker in In­dia by 2015-16. The com­pany has ex­panded its sales, but still trails its erst­while part­ner and cur­rent mar­ket leader Hero Mo­toCorp.

In the last fi­nan­cial year, HMSI’s vol­ume rose 10.3% to 4.7 mil­lion units, 1.75 mil­lion units be­hind Hero Mo­toCorp, which re­ported largely flat sales at 6.48 mil­lion units. Aoyama de­clined to spec­ify the sales tar­get set for the Indian sub­sidiary to achieve the top slot. “It is dif­fi­cult to es­ti­mate right now as the mar­ket may shrink dur­ing the tran­si­tion.”

In­dus­try ex­perts be­lieve that although HMSI has been ex­pand­ing, it may be a tough ask to at­tain mar­ket lead­er­ship by the end of the decade. Hero Mo­toCorp con­tin­ues to have 55% share of the do­mes­tic mo­tor­cy­cle mar­ket. The com­pany has around 15% share in the do­mes­tic scooter mar­ket and it is steadily gain­ing share.

Shinji Aoyama

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