Hero Electric targets 75 percent growth next fiscal

March 15th, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, March 15 (IANS) Electric two-wheeler maker Hero Electric is targeting 75 percent sales growth next fiscal, a top official of the firm said.

“We will close this fiscal selling 40,000 units. For the next year, the target is 70,000 units,” company managing director Naveen Munjal told IANS over phone from New Delhi.

According to him, the focus next year will be on making its dealerships a viable business. “We will increase our dealer network by 100 to 362.”

Launching new models, the company will increase its brand spend by Rs.60 million to Rs.150 million next year, he added.

Asked about the possible impact of petrol price cut on electric two-wheeler sales, Munjal said: “Even if petrol is sold at Rs.20 per litre, battery-powered two-wheelers will remain economical for a buyer.”

He added that Hero had shelved its earlier plans for acquiring units that manufacture motors and controllers - two critical components used in battery-operated two wheelers.

“The idea is to focus on our vehicle sales which in turn would allow development of a vibrant component vendor base. Other members of the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) too have decided similarly,” said Munjal, who is also the association president.

SMEV, an association for battery-operated vehicle and component makers, has 29 members.

Munjal added that development of local vendor base would help the electric scooter makers cut costs.

Welcoming increased regulatory measures on the manufacturers, he said: “We want all vehicles, including the low-powered ones, to be registered with the transport authorities. Further, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) norms for testing battery-powered vehicles should be made stricter.”

Munjal said SMEV would also launch an awareness campaign on the benefits of battery-operated vehicles.

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