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India Hero Honda March Motorcycle Sales Down

MUMBAI April 1, 2003; Dow Jones reported that sales of India's largest motorcycle maker, Hero Honda Motors Ltd., fell 15% in March, in line with an overall decline in two- wheeler industry sales as customers delayed purchases.

An industry official said customers are waiting for automobile companies to announce the new excise duty structure for the new fiscal year which begins Tuesday.

The company Tuesday said it sold 115,722 units in March compared with 135,464 units a year earlier.

For the year ended March 31, the company's motorcycle sales rose 18% to 1.68 million from 1.43 million the previous year.

An official at Hero Honda said sales in the financial year were lower than the target of 1.7 million, mainly due to the sharp fall in March sales.

Hero Honda had already cut its sales target for 2002-2003 from 1.8 million units, citing the effect of weak farm output on rural incomes and overall economic growth.