Business Standard

Growth of revenue, market share is top priority: Hero MotoCorp CEO

Achieving production target for FY24 is secondary right now, he added

Niranjan Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp with the Brand Ambassador- Hrithik Roshan at the launch of the Hero Karizma XMR

Niranjan Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp with the Brand Ambassador- Hrithik Roshan at the launch of the Hero Karizma XMR

Deepak Patel New Delhi

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Buoyed by the rising demand for premium vehicles after the pandemic, Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker, launched the much-anticipated Karizma XMR at an introductory price of Rs 1.73 lakh (ex-showroom).

Hero launched Karizma in 2003, but it was discontinued in 2019 owing to low demand.

The Karizma XMR comes with a 210 cc liquid cooled engine and a dual channel anti-lock braking system.

Booking for the premium product began on Monday, with its delivery scheduled to begin in October.

Hero is also focused on boosting its overall revenue and gaining a bigger market share, especially in the premium segment, chief executive officer (CEO) Niranjan Gupta said on Tuesday.
 
Gupta noted that achieving the production target for FY24 is not the company’s top priority.
 
Last month, in its annual report, the company said it aims to produce 6.5 million units in FY24.

Hero produced 5.29 million units in FY23.

This means it is aiming for a production increase of 22.78 per cent in the current financial year.

"I would say that we are focused on boosting revenues. We are also focused on market share gains. I think the (production) numbers will be what they will be. Honestly, that is an indicative (production) number we are looking for," Gupta told Business Standard after the launch of Karizma XMR.

"We want to make sure that we have double-digit revenue growth and gain market share on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis. That is going to be the focus by ensuring that we grow the core (the entry-level two-wheeler segment) and win in the premium segment by having a portfolio by launching new products," he explained.

In the April-July period of FY24, the company's production dropped by 4.95 per cent Y-o-Y to 1.707 million units.

In the last three months, Hero MotoCorp has launched three premium (150cc plus) motorcycles: Xtreme 160R 4V, X440 and Karizma XMR.
 
"The premium segment's growth last year was twice that of the commuter's segment growth," Gupta explained.

He said the company is focused on having a full portfolio of premium products in the coming quarters.

"Once we have a full portfolio of premium products, then you will see our market share in the premium segment rising. Just watch us perform in the premium segment in the next 4-6 quarters," he explained.
 
Hero is currently facelifting 500 of its 1,000 main dealerships.
 
"The last change (facelift) that happened in our VI (visual interface) was around ten years back. It is the first time after a decade that we are doing a facelift of our stores. We plan to facelift 500 stores in the next eight quarters," he said.

"It will not just be hardware but software as well. When I say software, I mean to say better-trained salespeople, dedicated sales executives for premium vehicles," Gupta noted.

About 40-50 stores have already been refurbished as part of the overhaul.

Karizma will be sold through facelifted stores as well as premium stores.

"We are doing a pilot right now for premium stores and foolproofing it. The plan is to have 100 premium stores in the next four quarters. Hero 2.0 (facelifted stores) will be faster. They will have dedicated spaces for premium, EVs," Gupta added.


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First Published: Aug 29 2023 | 5:04 PM IST

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