Hero MotoCorp to Launch New Scooters, Bikes in Iran and Turkey
Customers look at a Hero MotoCorp Karizma motorbike at a Hero MotoCorp showroom in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Amit Dave/files
Mumbai: Hero MotoCorp is planning to launch new scooters and bikes in Iran and Turkey, and use the Bangladesh plant to scale up presence in South Asia as part of its global expansion strategy. The company, which sells products in over 37 countries across the globe, however, said the highly price sensitive African market posed a unique challenge in selling innovative and feature-rich products. In his message to shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2017-18, Hero MotoCorp Chairman, MD and CEO Pawan Munjal said the firm is gearing up to “ride the wave of ever-evolving global political dynamics, as it continues to expand its footprint”. “Amid all the global political and economic upheavals, we have chosen to stay the course and kept our commitment to all our global markets,” he said. Munjal further said: “Our sustained brand building across markets during the economic downturn has now begun to yield results, with double-digit growth in our global business in 2017-18.” Hero MotoCorp clocked total sales of 2,04,484 units of motorcycles and scooters in global markets during the year as compared to 1,82,117 units in 2016-17. Elaborating its overseas expansion plans, Hero MotoCorp said: “In the Middle East, the company plans to launch new products in scooters and entry and premium bike segments in the regional markets, including Turkey and Iran.” As it expands in international markets, the company said it “will use its manufacturing plant in Bangladesh, coupled with flexible manufacturing processes to improve its share in the 100cc entry and 125cc segments in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.” It further said new product launches in premium segments scooters and motorcycles should see the company inch up its market share in Nepal and Sri Lanka in the coming year. In Africa, the company said most of the countries do not have such stringent regulations such as BS-IV. “This poses a unique challenge as the markets have largely become highly price sensitive and not conducive to innovative and feature-rich products that are part of the company’s portfolio,” it added. Commenting on Latin America, the company said the markets continue to be geared towards 125-150cc bikes with the exception of Colombia. Few countries in the region cluster do not have any regulations while some have moved to Euro-3 emission norms. “Given the company’s technological prowess, it is confident to deliver safe, fuel efficient and cost-effective transport to customers,” it said. On the domestic front, Hero MotoCorp said the focus is on increasing market in the entry and deluxe segments, while also putting in place a strategy to enhance market share in scooter and premium motorcycle segments. On electric vehicles front, Munjal said the company’s engineers are working on electric two-wheelers and the company would be ready to introduce these products at an appropriate time. He said Hero MotoCorp has made a substantial investment in a Bengaluru-based tech startup Ather Energy, an e-vehicle manufacturing company which has launched its first smart electric scooter and a public commercial charging infrastructure.