Last week Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India launched the Dream Yuga in India. The company also revealed its new brand identity, which clearly showcases that the Japanese automaker is targeting the common man in India. Honda wants volumes, it wants to overtake Bajaj and Hero for the numero uno position in 2-wheelers by 2020. There is no doubt that Honda will succeed in overtaking Hero in the later half of this decade. The reason is that Honda has an extremely good R&D and a good line-up of products, something which Hero lacks in. Eventually it is going to be Honda vs Bajaj, with the trend shifting to higher capacity motorcycles (100cc buyers now preferring 125cc, etc).
Honda has also roped in Akshay Kumar for the being the brand ambassador of the 2-wheeler company for the next 5 years. While this may have no effect on buyers of the Unicorn or the CBR, it surely will pull many 100cc buyers to the Honda brand. Honda knows that in order to beat Hero, it has to expand its dealership network and address service issues. The company is now planing to double its touch points to 2000 by March 2013. Currently Honda has 1000 such outlets, where sales and service of Honda 2-wheelers takes place. It will also alot new dealerships near existing Hero and Bajaj showrooms. Honda is also receiving applications from existing Hero dealers, who want to convert their existing dealerships into Honda showrooms.
Currently Honda has a 15% market share in the Indian 2-wheeler market, with majority of the volumes coming from its three scooters (where it has a 50% + market share). Hero on the other hand has 4000 outlets and 45% market share, while Bajaj Auto has a 20% market share. Honda is also looking to expand its dealership network in rural markets, where it thinks it can achieve good numbers by selling the Dream Yuga. Till the separation with Hero, Honda avoided direct competition with them, but now the Japanese automaker plans to take Hero head-on in every segment.