Eight years after split Honda leads India race while Hero lags

Eight years after split Honda leads India race while Hero lags
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New Delhi, Dec 21: Eight years after breaking ties with Hero Motocorp, Japanese giant Honda has beaten its erstwhile partner in each of the business segments. The Indian company though continues to grapple with intense competition from other players.
Data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers of the last eight years show Honda has expanded market share in the motorcycle and scooter segments in the domestic market as well increased exports growth.
During these eight years, sales for two-wheeler market leader Hero Motocorp declined in all the segments on lackluster demand for some products and delay in new product launches.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has doubled its share in the domestic two-wheeler space to nearly 28 percent this year (October end) from 13.3 percent in 2010 when the companies split. Share of the Munjal family-promoted Hero Motocorp has eroded to 36 percent this year from 44 percent at the time of the split, as per the SIAM numbers.
Last year, Honda dislodged Hero in 15 states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and two union territories to emerge as the market leader in those markets. A large chunk of buyers from these states favoured gearless scooters over motorcycles for their ease of riding.
Hero did hold on the agrarian belt in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. These states are the largest buyers of budget bikes like Splendor and Dawn, both being the backbone of Hero’s volumes. Since April this year, Pune-headquartered Bajaj Auto started a price war in the Splendor segment by dropping rates by Rs 2,000 on its cheapest bike CT100.
The maker of India’s largest selling two-wheeler brand Activa Honda increased its share in the scooter space to nearly 57 percent from nearly 44 percent through an unchallenged streak.
Despite multiple launches backed by a retail reach twice that compared to Honda, Hero has not been able to capitalise on robust demand for scooters. Hero’s share in the scooter segment stood at 10.6 percent this year down from nearly 16 percent at the time of the split.