Honda vs Hero: A Raging Battle In The Indian Two-Wheeler Market

Atsushi Ogata’s Honda and Pawan Munjal’s Hero MotoCorp have entered some sort of a battle in the two-wheeler segment. In December 2010, erstwhile, Hero Honda got dissolved paving the way for two separate two-wheeler brands in Japan and India 

Honda vs HeroMotoCorp:
Battle Unfolds

Will Honda gradually
overtake Hero in India?

While Hero has always clocked in way more sales than Honda, over the years the gap between the sale of the two motorcycle brands is reducing

Will Honda gradually
overtake Hero in India?

Source: SIAM

FY2011 - Hero sold 3.7 million more vehicles than Honda in India
FY2022 - Hero sold over a million more vehicles than Honda
April-October FY23 -  Hero sold just 4,00,000 more units than Honda

Hero vs Honda Retail Sales

September FY22 was the first month since the split that Honda Motors (HMSI) reported higher retail sales of two-wheelers:

Honda Motors: 2,98,000 units
Hero Motor Corp: 2,67,000 units

Source: Vahan

Hero MotoCorp, still
ruling the charts

Hero MotoCorp is still the largest two-wheeler maker in the country, clocking a year-on-year growth of 11.5% in the April-October period. However, Honda has seen a growth of 30.8% in the same period

A few years after founding a piston rings company in 1937, Honda’s founder Soichiro Honda had to shut it down after two of its plants got destroyed in US B-29 bomb attack and the Mikawa earthquake

The Story of Honda 

Sochiro sold the remnants to Toyota and founded Honda Technical Research Institute which later grew into Honda Motor Company

Birth of Honda

Honda is now a $104-billion (net sales in FY22) behemoth that makes everything from cars to motorcycles to watercraft to robots to executive jets

Birth of Honda

For 26 years, Hero sold motorcycles under the brand Hero Honda, in a joint venture with Honda Motor Co. However, a split happened between the two on December 16, 2010, when Pawan Munjal announced Hero’s acquisition of Honda’s entire stake

Story of Hero

In 2011, Munjal launched Hero MotoCorp with a new theme song—Hum Main Hai Hero—composed and sung by A.R. Rahman

Hero Revamped

Currently, Hero has eight manufacturing units including two in Colombia and Bangladesh

Hero Manufacturing Units 

Splendor sales rose in the rural parts as a wedding season in rural India was touted to be incomplete without a Hero MotoCorp motorcycle

Splendor’s craze in
Indian weddings

Splendor dominates in the less-than-110-cc motorcycle segment, in which Hero has 76.7 % share and 2.48-million-unit sales in April- October 2022

Hero Vs Honda: Splendor 

Honda ruled the hearts of Indians with Activa. HMSI had invited some schoolchildren to its Manesar plant to talk about rider safety. “We asked the kids if they knew Honda. They said no, but we know Activa”, says Ogata

Activa: The face of Honda

Activa dominates in the less-than-125- cc scooter segment, where HMSI has 51.8% share with sales of 1.58 million units in the same period

Hero Vs Honda: Activa

Hero partnered with Harley-Davidson for a middleweight (300-550cc) premium motorcycleHMSI is facing issues in building a premium portfolio

Hero vs Honda: Premium segment

It remains to be seen how this battle between Hero and Honda unfolds in the coming years. However, with Atsushi Ogata at the helm of Honda, the company is at the threshold of the dream to become the largest player in the Indian market

Hero or Honda:
Who will lead?

For more visual stories 

Read More on Business Today’s new issue,
‘Will Honda Be The New Hero’

Produced by: Bhoomika
Designed by: Mohsin

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