Hero revs up for exports

New Delhi, Feb. 4: Hero MotoCorp, the country's largest two-wheeler maker, plans to enter 8-10 markets in Latin America and Africa by March.

"We are planning to launch our products in 8-10 new markets in Latin America and Africa by March. This is in accordance with our plans to export one million units across the world by 2016-17," said Anil Dua, senior vice-president (marketing and sales) of Hero MotoCorp.

At present, the company exports its products only to Colombia in Latin America. Dua, however, declined to share details such as which are the markets or how many units the company plans to sell.

According to sources, Hero MotoCorp has already started initial operations in some Latin American nations such as Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and is getting ready to start its business in four to five African countries.

They said the two-wheeler firm had finalised distributors and channel partners in some markets in Africa. Sources said Hero MotoCorp planned to set up assembly units in some of these markets once the volumes picked up.

At present, the Latin American market is dominated by Japanese makers such as Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki. Other firms from China and Taiwan are also present.

Hero MotoCorp had announced its global brand launch in 2011 and had planned to expand its international business to 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, America and Southeast Asia to garner 10 per cent of its total sales from overseas operations in five to six years.

In September, it had launched the Hero brand in its existing international markets such as Sri Lanka and Nepal.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) data, Hero MotoCorp exports declined 18.27 per cent to 1,21,859 units during April-December this fiscal. The company reported its highest ever monthly sales at 5,57,797 units in January.

However, according to Siam data, the company's total domestic sales so far this fiscal have come down 1.99 per cent to 44,24,371 units.