India's largest two-wheeler maker, Hero MotoCorp registered a drop of 4 per cent in sales for December 2018. The company sold 453,985 units last month, as against 472,731 units in December 2017. While sales saw a decline in the last month of 2018, the company had a positive year overall. Hero sold 80,39,472 two-wheelers between January and December 2018, surpassing expectations. In the first nine months of financial year 2019 between April and December, the manufacturer registered a sale of 60,37,901 units.
Speaking about Hero MotoCorp's performance during the 2018 calendar year, Chairman - Dr. Pawan Munjal said, “2018 was a challenging year for the global economy. While the continuing volatility in currency and commodities slowed down the pace of growth, the global geopolitical and trade conflicts also affected sentiments in markets and industries across the world. The increased cost of two-wheeler insurance ahead of the Diwali festive season and the prevailing liquidity crunch in the market impacted the overall momentum of growth in the industry during the entire third quarter."
He further added, "The cost of two-wheelers will further go up once the new set of regulations around safety comes into force, followed by the transition to BS-VI emission norms. All these will put severe stress on the extremely cost-sensitive commuters, for whom the two-wheeler is a lifeline. Given that two-wheelers provide basic mobility to the masses, there is an urgent need to reduce the GST rate on two-wheelers from the 28 per cent bracket of ‘luxury goods' to that of 18 per cent for mass usage items. This will provide the much-needed relief to millions of two-wheeler customers across the country, as well as the entire value chain dependent on the sector. It is absolutely imperative to ensure growth in the auto sector to create and sustain inclusive economic growth. With an improved liquidity in the market, and the upcoming festive season in many parts of the country, the industry is expecting a positive turnaround in the fourth quarter."
Hero MotoCorp had an eventful 2018 with a strong show in the Dakar rally in January 2018, while it entered into two new segments with the Xtreme 200R motorcycle and the Destini 125 scooter. The company will be kick-starting 2019 with two launches including the Hero XPulse 200 and 200T bikes, along with the Hero Maestro Edge 125 scooter.