Hero MotoCorp has considerably extended its market share in the Indian two-wheeler industry over its nearest rival, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI). India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume, Hero MotoCorp has now increased its lead over its Japanese former partner by more than 2.15 lakh units in the first two months of the current financial year (April-May, 2018). A year ago, Hero's lead in total sales volumes over Honda was only 1.36 lakh two-wheeler units. With the steadily expanding gap, Hero is now regaining the market share which it had lost to competition over the last few years.
At the end of May, Hero MotoCorp's overall market share in the domestic two-wheeler market stood at 37.4 per cent, a gain of more than 1 per cent over the same period last year, when its market share stood at 36.2 per cent in May 2017. In the domestic motorcycle market, Hero continues to be the market leader, commanding over 50 per cent market share. In May 2018, Hero MotoCorp despatched 7,06,365 two-wheelers, a growth of 11 per cent over the corresponding month a year ago (May 2017), when Hero sold 6,33,884 units.
May 2018 was the third month of sales of over 7 lakh two-wheeler. In March 2018, Hero had sold 7,30,473 two-wheelers, while in September 2017, Hero sold 7,20,739 two-wheelers. In financial year 2017-18, Hero MotoCorp registered its highest-ever fiscal sales clocking 75.9 lakh unit sales, ending the year with a lead of over 15 lakh unit sales over HMSI. Hero also became the first company in the world to sell over 20 lakh units of two-wheelers in a single quarter, which it achieved in the July to September period of 2017.
For 2018, Hero has several new launches planned to increase its market share with the first launch of a 200 cc motorcycle, one of the fastest growing motorcycle segments in the market right now. The Hero Xtreme 200R will be the first motorcycle to be launched in this segment, followed by the Hero XPulse. Hero will also launch two new scooters, the Hero Duet 125, and the Hero Maestro Edge 125, entering the 125 cc scooter segment for the first time. With predictions for a normal monsoon this year, Hero is banking on increasing its market share with strong sales in the rural market, where more than half of Hero's sales come from.
Hero is also planning to increase production capacity, commencing the construction of its new manufacturing facility in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh, which will be Hero's sixth plant in India. Currently, Hero has an installed production capacity of 92 lakh two-wheelers per annum, and once the Chittoor plant becomes operational, this will take total annual installed capacity to 1.1 crore two-wheelers in two years.
Hero and Honda are former partners and used to be known as Hero Honda, when Hero established itself as the leader in the domestic motorcycle market. In 2011, Honda parted ways with Hero to establish Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, which has now established itself as Hero's closest rival in the domestic two-wheeler industry.