Hero Motocorp beats slump, posts highest monthly sales in January

The new year has started on an optimistic note for two-wheeler makers who, till now, have seen the demand slump for most of the current fiscal.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted its highest-ever monthly sales (despatches to dealers) in January with a 7.21% growth at 5.57 lakh units, compared to the same month last year.

The previous high was on May 2012 when the company sold 5.56 lakh units.

This is welcome news for Hero, which has seen April-December volumes going down 2% at 44.24 lakh units. "Our new motorcycle launches like Ignitor and Passion X-Pro are receiving excellent customer response, while growth in our scooters, Pleasure & Maestro, is outpacing the industry growth. The overall two-wheeler industry is again showing good volumes, and we are hopeful of keeping up the momentum," Anil Dua, Hero MotoCorp's senior vice-president (marketing & sales) said.

Rival Bajaj Auto had a similar story as well - sales of 3.01 lakh bikes (2% growth) in the month was the best start it has ever had for the new year. Meanwhile, Hero's erstwhile partner Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, too, saw volumes in January jump 22% to 2.30 lakh units. The Chennai-based TVS Motor sold 1.54 lakh two wheelers in the month, up marginally from 1.53 lakh units sold in the same period last year.

Two-wheeler volumes have lagged the fiscal - in April-December FY13 sales went up just 4% at 10.37 million units, while bike sales (which account for around 70% of industry volumes) witnessed flat growth.

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