The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hero Honda revs up

New Delhi, May 15: Hero Honda, the country’s largest motorbike maker, today said it expects higher sales this fiscal as the chances of a drought have receded.

“Double-digit two-wheeler growth is on the cards due to forecasts of a better monsoon than last year,” Atul Sobti, senior vice-president marketing at Hero Honda, said, adding that 50 per cent of the rural sales is monsoon dependent.

A good monsoon is vital for motorcycle and scooter manufacturers as agriculture contributes around 25 per cent to GDP. The weather office has forecast a 96 per cent normal monsoon this year which is unlike to hurt economic growth like last year.

The firm today launched its costliest 223cc motorbike, Karizma, to blunt competition from main rival Bajaj Auto and also said it would launch scooters in 2005. Karizma would carry an ex-showroom price of Rs 79,000 in Delhi. The company expects to sell 20,000 units this fiscal.

Hero Honda has a dominant 45 per cent share of the domestic market.

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