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Hero MotoCorp to enter US market next year

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-06-2014 Munish Shekhavat

Sao Paulo: Hero MotoCorp Ltd, India’s largest two-wheeler maker, is looking to start selling bikes in the US next year, hoping to create a niche market for its products.

The company, which entered as many as 18 global markets in the past one-and-a-half years, is confident its motorcycles will be received well in the US.

Hero MotoCorp managing director and chief executive officer Pawan Munjal said they wouldn’t focus much on bigger motorcycles in the US, and instead take some of their current products and try to create a niche market for them.

About the US launch, he said: “It would be in the calendar year 2015 and marketing of the products would be done through Erik Buell Racing (EBR).”

EBR, a company specializing in high-performance sports bikes and in which Hero MotoCorp has a 49.2% stake, has started appointing distributors in the US.

Despite high-powered bikes having a larger share in the US market, Munjal said Hero would target smaller cities and the inter-city commuting segment.

Hero currently has bikes in the 100cc to 250cc range, with models starting from the entry-level HF Dawn and commuter model Splendor to performance sports bike Karizma ZMR.

“Last October, we had displayed some of our products at the motorcycle show in Florida and there was a huge amount of interest from distributors,” Munjal said.

The company is undergoing homologation, a process to certify road-worthiness, for its bikes in the US, he added.

Hero MotoCorp separated from Honda Motor Co. Ltd in 2011 and has augmented its global presence, selling products across 18 countries, including Peru, Guatemala, Turkey and Egypt.

The company has established assembly units in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in East Africa through its distributors. It is preparing to set up a manufacturing unit in Colombia to cater to Latin American markets.

In August 2013, it announced plans to enter 50 markets by 2020 with a target of 20 manufacturing facilities across the globe and an overall annual turnover of `60,000 crore.

It aims at getting 10% of annual sales from export markets, at around 1 million units, by 2017.

Hero MotoCorp has set a cumulative sales target of 100 million units by 2020, having crossed the 50 million milestone last year. PTI

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