Honda Sets 2020 Target to Win Top Slot in India
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.