Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India eyes big from rural markets

To push rural sales, HMSI plans to open 70% of its outlets in rural India where it is adding new 350 retail outlets which will focus on tapping potential two wheeler buyers

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India eyes big from rural markets

In order to get a bigger share from the rural markets, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is planning to open 70 percent of its 500 new outlets in rural India in the financial year 2017-18. These new 350 retail outlets in rural India will focus on tapping potential two wheeler buyers in the hinterlands.

HMSI also plans to launch an all-new motorcycle model for the Indian market in this ongoing fiscal in order to grow its market share in the bike segment from current 17 percent.

“Although we must focus on both motorcycles and scooter segments, there is much potential for growth in the motorcycle segment. We would like to increase our market share in the vertical,” HMSI President and CEO Minoru Kato told the agencies.

The company is now second in terms of bike sales in the country after market leader Hero MotoCorp. In the scooters segment, it is the leader with 59 percent market share.

When asked which segment would the company focus on in the bike segment to drive volume growth, Kato pointed out the 125 cc category. This fiscal, HMSI has set an ambitious target of selling 60 lakh units of two-wheelers, over 10 lakh units more than the last fiscal. Terming it as a challenge, Kato said that expansion of sales network would play a big role in achieving the target.

The company aims to have 5,700 sales touch points by the end of this fiscal. At the end of the last fiscal, its tally stood at 5,200 outlets. “We have set a target of adding another 500 outlets this fiscal. In the April-August period, we have already opened 250 touch points. We will add 50 more this month,” HMSI Senior VP Sales and Marketing, Yadvinder Singh Guleria said.

He further said the enhanced network would also help bring incremental sales growth during the festive season. HMSI expects sales to grow over 20 percent during the festive season, he said.
The company, which has around 30 percent overall market share in the domestic two-wheeler market, plans to dethrone Hero MotoCorp as number one by 2020.

HSMI has been catching up on its erstwhile parter Hero MotoCorp. In August while Hero MotoCorp sold a total of 6,78,797 units, HMSI reported sales of 6,22,180 units, a difference of just 56,617 units.

In 2016-17, Hero MotoCorp sold 64,83,655 units in the Indian market, whereas HMSI sold 47,25,067 units.

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