Honda goes rural to outdo Hero MotoCorp
Snapshot: After its split from Hero MotoCorp in 2010, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) had been trying to excel its former counterpart in every manner. Tapping the rural market is its latest attempt to make the numbers favourable
Honda is planning to set-up a 'rural vertical' in order to leave behind the biggest player in the two-wheeler segment - Hero MotoCorp. After its calculated split in 2010 with Hero MotoCorp, everyone was eager to see Honda's performance over the next few years, and it seems Honda is doing everything it takes to make it hard for the competitors. Within 4 years of its epic split, Honda surpassed Bajaj Auto to become the second largest two-wheeler company. Now it plans to take the numero uno spot by overtaking the former friend and partner - Hero MotoCorp. The company plans to grow ambitiously at 21% this year and plans to go deeper in the rural market which accounts for 30-33% of HMSI's sales annually.
"It is a new direction. With a dedicated rural vertical we will be able to achieve more. This vertical will not only take care of rural network but also rural communication, and give key feedback to R&D. Its approach will be completely different from the urban markets. There will be close to 15 people who will oversee the strategy, communication and implementation," said Y.S. Guleria, VP - Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India.
With the competitors having touch points between 5,500 and 6,000, Honda has a long way to go with just 2,850 touch points. But, against all the odds, HMSI has been performing fairly well in the 100-110 cc segment. Rarely a few weeks ago, the Honda CB Shine became the first ever 125 cc motorcycle in India to cross the 3 million milestone. So, if the strategic part stays right, it shouldn't come as a surprise if HMSI's dream of zooming ahead of Hero turn into a reality sometime soon.
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