By Shanuka Tissera
Hero MotoCorp Ltd, previously known as Hero Honda Ltd yesterday announced its plans for a bright future in Sri Lanka partnering Abans Group to market a choice of 14 models of two-wheelers.
Being the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer along with the launch of its range of two-wheelers in Sri Lanka, makes this the brand’s first endeavour into the international market since the launch of its new brand identity just over a year ago.
For over 2 decades, Hero Honda Ltd has been a brand synonymous for motorbikes in India, Asia and the world. Hero Honda Ltd has been in the Sri Lankan markets for over 20 years now and has gained the reputation for being affordable, reliable and fun. Globally, 52 million 2-wheelers are sold globally each year and Hero MotoCorp Ltd sold 6.2 million of those units, where 10% of sales came from international markets. The company which has been around for almost 30 years now and has so far sold over 43 million 2-wheeleres, of which the majority have been sold in India and small fraction to Sri Lanka and others.
The fresh dose of investment for this venture is estimated to be above $5 million where Hero MotoCorp Ltd is providing 50% of the investment and will ensure high quality after care, support and service is offered to all of their customers.
By the end of this month, all models will be of the new Hero brand and is a land mark achievement for the company. “We are now energized and ready to take on the worldwide market, the new buzz word is going ‘glocal,’ we want to give the global market something designed and manufactured in India using only the best minds and innovators to do so,” Hero MotoCorp Ltd Managing Director and CEO Pawan Munjal said.
Hero MotoCorp Ltd has chosen the reputable Abans Group of Sri Lanka to bring its two-wheelers to the country. Abans has been appointed as the sole distributor of the Hero MotoCorp range in Sri Lanka. The products are to be distributed through a network of more than 50 outlets spread across the country with a further 50 outlets to be added in the coming year. Yesterday two new state of the art Hero-Abans dealerships where opened at Negombo Road, Peliyagoda and R.A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03.
Hero MotoCorp Senior Vice President – Sales, Marketing & Customer Care Anil Dua said: “It is with immense pride and satisfaction that this new look and strategy of the company will take us to new heights. We have taken our latest showcase across the world to Europe and South America, we are very excited for the future of this company and we will work in an exciting manner to ensure success.” The company took a almost a decade to sell their first 10 million units and since then, has progressively gone from taken 4 years to sell 10 millions units, to 2 years to sell 10 million units.
Hero MotoCorp Ltd Managing Director & CEO Pawan Munj made it clear that Sri Lanka has always been a very important market for the Hero group.
“We have a loyal customer base in this country. The fact that we have chosen Sri Lanka as the first international market to launch our new brand identity is indicative of the significant role this market plays in our plans to expand our global footprint. It gives me immense pleasure to announce the choice of Abans group as our partner in this market. I am sure that their rich experience in this market and knowledge of the local customers will go a long way towards further strengthening our business here.”
The two brand ambassadors who are ‘heroes’ in the sense of term for this venture are the highly-popular Sri Lankan cricket and youth icon Kumar Sangakkara who introduced the 125cc high performance motorcycle, while Miss Sri Lanka Stephanie Siriwardhana unveiled the scooter – Pleasure.
The range of Hero two wheelers that will be available in the Sri Lankan market include successful brands such as; HF Deluxe and HF Dawn. The deluxe segment; Pro, Splendor NXG, Super Slpendor, Glamour & Passion Pro. The premium segment; Karizma ZMR, Hunk, Xtreme and Achiever and the scooter Pleasure.
The scooter market is an important segment that Hero MotoCorp Ltd wishes to further dominate. The scooter market is said to be growing rapidly where the company has enjoyed a 27% market share for the past 4 years, from the year just gone, they now bask in a market share of 51%. In all, Hero MotoCorp is looking to strongly increase its market share in both the motorbike and scooter industries.
A preview of the Sinhalese anthem with its theme of ‘There’s a Hero in each of us’ was showcased yesterday and is said to portray the company’s brand essence, composed and originally sung by Oscar winning music director A.R.Rahman. The Sinhalese theme song in the form of a TV Commercial will premier during the ICC World Twenty 20 and is one of India’s largest corporate promoters of sports.
The New Delhi headquartered Hero MotoCorp Ltd has been on a continuing path of growth since embarking on its solo journey over a year ago. The company has three state of the art manufacturing plants and recently announced its plans to set up two new manufacturing plants and an integrated R&D centre.