India's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp plans to launch a dozen new models across segments by March 2014, in its bid to maintain market leadership in the face of fierce competition from Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Bajaj Auto.
Hero MotoCorp has long ruled the Indian motorcycle market with its Splendor and Passion range of commuter and executive segment bikes. However, Honda as well as Bajaj are increasingly targeting Hero's turf. Honda has launched the Dream Yuga and Dream Neo in the recent past and more such models are in the works. Bajaj Auto launched the Discover 125ST and 100T motorcycles in the last one year and has plans to launch 6 new Discover models this year.
Pawan Munjal, MD and CEO, said that Hero Moto will focus on motorcycles in the 150cc plus segment and he is extremely gung-ho about the festive season.
Hero MotoCorp last month reported a 11 percent year-on-year decline in first quarter net profit at Rs 549 crore, with EBITDA margin coming in at 14.8 percent. Total income in April-June slipped 1.4 percent to Rs 6,160 crore.
Munjal said the company will look at hitting 20 percent EBITDA margins and lead the market in terms of margins too.
The company ended its long-term partnership with Japan's Honda in 2010 and has been slowly expanding its footprint in the overseas market. Hero Moto has already launched motorcycles in some Latin American markets and will launch operations in Peru by September.
It will increase its focus on Latin American markets and hopes exports will account for 10 percent of total sales by 2017, Munjal added.
Hero Moto shares were up 0.6 percent at Rs 1,845.50 in afternoon trade on NSE.