Hero MotoCorp stretched its lead to around 20 lakh units over rival and erstwhile partner Honda in two-wheeler sales in 2018-19 amid a slowdown in the domestic market.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, the homegrown two-wheeler major sold 78,20,745 units as compared to 59,00,840 units sold by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), according to the latest sales figures issued by the companies.
In the fiscal 2017-18, Hero MotoCorp sold 75,87,130 lakh units, while HMSI sold 61,23,877 units. Thus, Hero's lead over HMSI increased by 19,19,905 lakh units in FY19 as compared to 14,63,253 units in FY18.
Hero said it has been able to keep sales higher during FY19 through forays into premium motorcycle segment with the launch of the 'Xtreme 200R' and the fast growing 125cc scooter segment with Destini 125, besides existing models.
On the other hand, HMSI, which had declared its ambition to be the number one two-wheeler maker in India by 2020 overtaking Hero, said challenging and disruptive second half of 2018-19 significantly wiped off the two-wheeler industry growth of first half.
HMSI cited issue such as increased insurance premium in September 2018 dampened festival sentiments, and pre-festival stock buildup was converted into high inventories for the two-wheeler industry.
The company said it had re-aligned supplies with domestic demand to correct inventories and support its dealer partners.
In FY19, Pune-based Bajaj Auto maintained its position as the third biggest two-wheeler maker in India with sales of 42,36,873 units as against 33,69,334 units in the previous fiscal, a growth of 26 per cent.
TVS Motor Co said it sold 37.57 lakh units in 2018-19 as compared to 33.67 lakh units in the previous year, a growth of 12 per cent.