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Honda outsells hero

Honda’s huge Indian motorcycle and scooter manufacturing subsidiary HMSI finally outpaced indigenous champion Hero MotoCorp in September 2022’s run-up towards Diwali festive season peak sales.

In what are bound to be disputed figures, Hero claimed its September domestic sales volume increased marginally by 0.4% to 507,690 bikes. In parallel, HMSI reported domestic volume 5.4% up to 488,924. Like all their competitors, both are distinctly vague about whether data is based on wholesale shipments to dealers or retail interfaces with consumers.

However, the Indian government’s Vahan statistical portal – which is seen as the most reliable gauge of retail activity – recorded roughly 34,000 more Honda registrations than Hero during the month. As a result, India’s leading business newspaper Economic Times headlined that Hero had been trounced by HMSI, becoming key monthly market leader for the first time ever. No doubt Hero chief executive Pawan Munjal, current doyen of the company’s controlling Munjal dynasty, will be throwing all of the toys out of his pram to challenge this verdict.

Diwali, which traditionally reaches its crescendo in October, is viewed by religiously-inclined Hindu, Sikh and Jain bikers as an especially auspicious time to buy a new set of wheels. This year, celebrations got off to a slow start but have since benefited local opposition to Honda and Hero mightily with some stunning growth.

Norton parent TVS Motor’s domestic tally put on 16.3% to 283,878 in September. Royal Enfield considerably more than doubled its sales on home turf to 73,646. And Suzuki’s Indian motorcycle and scooter subsidiary grew sales by 27.6% to 86,750.

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