Kicking off its ambitious plan to garner 10 per cent of its total volumes from international business in five years, Hero MotoCorp, world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer by volume, has commenced its operations in three Latin American countries, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala in Latin America - eventually hoping to reach as many as 30 countries spread across the globe.
According to a top industry source in the knowledge of the development, Hero MotoCorp dispatched the first consignment of two-wheelers to these three countries in Latin America just a few weeks ago. This marks the beginning of Hero's ambitious global foray, which the company has been aiming for since separating from erstwhile partner Honda.The Pawan Munjal-led company plans to expand its international business to 30 countries spanning across Africa, Latin America, Central America and South-East Asia over the next few years, a plan that was unveiled at Hero's global brand launch event in London in August 2011.
"The company has already started dispatching its two-wheelers to some new international markets from January. The company has finalised the distributors and channel partners in its new markets in Latin America and Africa. Hero is also set to start its operations in African markets anytime soon," the source told ET on condition of anonymity.
"In just a matter of weeks, the company will announce the launch of Brand Hero in these new markets in Latin America and Africa. Hero is also actively exploring the possibility of setting up assembly units in some of these markets once the volumes pick up," he added. Related: Africa, South America on Hero radar
When contacted, a Hero MotoCorp spokesperson agreed that local distributors in these markets have already been identified, but declined to divulge any further details, saying: "Yes, we have identified distributors for these markets, and we will make an announcement with all relevant details of our new international markets very soon, but closer to the time. It is not appropriate, therefore, at this stage to name our distributors and channel partners in these new international markets."
ET could not independently confirm the names of the distributors and the number of initial units being dispatched to the Latin American markets. Hero has limited presence in the 4-million units-strong LatinAm market and sells bikes in Colombia.
The market is currently dominated by the Japanese makers like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki who hold about 40 per cent of the entire Latin American market, while some Chinese players are also active in the entry level space. Related: Africa, South America on Hero radar