India’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp has begun developing Bharat Stage (BS) VI compliant models as it aims to introduce such products much before the official timeline of 2020. The company said it had also proactively switched to manufacturing only BS IV compliant vehicles well before the date stipulated by the authorities.
“In keeping with this spirit, we have already started our preparations for the launch of BS VI models and are aiming to launch BS VI compliant products well before the proposed timeline in 2020,” Hero MotoCorp Chairman, MD and CEO Pawan Munjal said in his address to shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2016-17.
The two-wheeler major, which crossed 70 million units in cumulative sales during 2016-17, has lined up six new models across segments in the current financial year to spur growth. “We have lined up half a dozen new products – across segments, including the premium and scooter categories – for launch in the next fiscal to drive our growth,” Munjal said.
Even as the company continues to build internal capacities, one of its strategic priorities is to also engage with the external ecosystem, including startups in a meaningful way, he added. “It is with this objective that we have made an investment in Ather Energy– one of the best startups in the two-wheeler electrical vehicle space,” Munjal said.
On domestic market, Munjal said the company is looking at aggressive market share gains to further consolidate its leadership, without compromising on the bottom line and margins. “We have planned a capital expenditure of around Rs 2,500 crore for the next two fiscals up to 2018-19, towards new product development, digitisation, phase-wise capacity installation and expansion of our existing facility in Gujarat and upcoming plants in Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh,” he said.
This capex also includes investments towards upgradation and modernisation of the existing plant machinery, Munjal said. Hero MotoCorp has a share of around 36.9 per cent in the domestic market.
Commenting on global markets, Munjal said there have been strong headwinds in various economies with an extremely volatile currency situation. “I however believe that these are cyclical situations and can be worked through in the long term. Hero would, therefore, stay invested in its global markets and continue to engage in brand building so that when the market situation improves, we are well prepared to leverage the conditions,” he said.
With the addition of Nigeria and Argentina, the company is now present in 35 countries spread across Asia, Africa and South and Central America. Besides, the company is now in the process of commencing production at its manufacturing facility in Bangladesh. It would be the company’s second manufacturing facility at a global location, after Cali, Colombia.