Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume, sold 5,16,775 two-wheelers in November 2019, in the middle of a slowdown in the domestic automobile industry and a transition from Bharat Stage IV emission regulations to the new Bharat Stage VI (BS6) emission norms which will come into effect from April 1, 2020. In October 2019, Hero MotoCorp reported record retail sales, but November 2019 despatch numbers reflect the challenges being faced by the domestic auto industry. Exports however, continue to show positive signs with the company pushing more than 10,000 units in November 2019.
Hero's overall two-wheeler sales numbers in November 2019 fell by 15 per cent, from 6,10,252 units in November 2018 to 5,16,775 units in November 2019. In the domestic market, Hero MotoCorp's two-wheeler sales fell 15.81 per cent, from 6,01,045 units in November 2018, to 5,05,994 units in November 2019. India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer reported the falling sales numbers in the middle of a downturn in the domestic auto industry, but also with pressures from transitioning to the new BS6 norms.
In October 2019, Hero reported the lowest-ever inventory in two years, and also launched India's first BS6-compliant motorcycle, the new Hero Splendor iSmart with fuel injection. While production of BS6 two-wheelers have been scaled up across the company's manufacturing facilities, production of more than 50 variants of Hero's BS-IV range of products have been stopped to ensure seamless transition to the new regulations, and lower inventory. No two-wheeler or other vehicle which do not conform to the new BS6 norms can be registered from April 1, 2020.
The transition to new and clean technology will also mean introducing fuel injection across all two-wheelers and a corresponding price hike. There is likely to be a fall in demand, at least till domestic customer demand finds acceptability in the new pricing. In any case, despite the slowdown, sales are likely to pick up in the next few months across manufacturers with dealerships offering attractive discounts on existing BS-IV stocks.