Hero MotoCorp to start dropping Honda brand

Hero MotoCorp to start dropping Honda brand

New Delhi: India’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp on Wednesday said it will start dropping the Honda brand from its existing products this fiscal.

The company, which plans to introduce up to eight new products including variants of its existing models, has already announced that it will launch a scooter under the brand ‘Maestro´ and off-road bike ‘Impulse´ under the Hero umbrella by the end of this year.

“This year, we have planned to introduce seven to eight new products which includes new models and face-lift of existing models," Hero MotoCorp India vice president (sales and marketing) Anil Dua told reporters on the sidelines of the SIAM here.

He added, “We have already introduced about three new products and announced two, others will follow in the remaining part of the fiscal."

Asked if the company will be dropping the name of the erstwhile joint venture partner Honda from its existing product, he said, “Whatever new announcement that we make of face-lift on existing products, it will be under the Hero name."

Last month, the company had announced its new brand identity. It had embarked on a journey to acquire a new brand name after the two joint venture partners of Hero Honda decided to part ways in December last year.

According to an agreement signed between the two erstwhile partners, Hero can use the Honda brand till 2014.

Asked about the growth prospects of this fiscal, Dua said the industry has been growing around 18% so far, while the firm has been registering sales of 21% and the company hopes to maintain the same momentum.

“25% growth witnessed by the industry last fiscal is not sustainable and the projection is of about 15% growth this fiscal. Hero MotoCorp will be above the industry growth," he said.

The company expects good sales during the festive season. Although there is commodity price fluctuation, the company is not planning any price hike in the foreseeable future. Dua said the company is yet to finalise the location for its fourth and fifth plants.