Brace up for heightened activity in the Indian Motown, starting this festive season!! Leading the pack would be dormant behemoth Hero MotoCorp. According to a report by MoneyControl.com, Hero MotoCorp is planning to launch a dozen of new models across various segments by March 2014.
This premium bike is one of the upcoming models from Hero. Spyshot credit: Autocar India
In the wake of a belligerent Honda and an ambitious Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp has been feeling the heat. Though its potent combination of Passion and Splendor is still not down and out, they have taken hits from Honda’s Dream Yuga and Dream Neo. To add salt to the wounds, Bajaj has introduced far-sportier Discovers 100T, 125T and the 125ST as well. What could also be foreboding for Hero MotoCorp is that Bajaj Auto plans to launch even more Discovers in the coming months.
To stall their advances, hitting the Refresh button was necessary. Pawan Munjal, MD & CEO of Hero MotoCorp, has expressed that they will focus on the extremely competitive 150 cc segment. That is really a welcome statement, and it should improve Hero’s stock prices. Earlier, there had been a speculation that they are going to launch three new models. One of them was supposed to be a scooter set to replace the Maestro, and the second one was a motorcycle in the executive segment. Many felt that the third one would be a premium motorcycle, probably a replacement for Karizma.
Now, 12 models seem too many!! Are they really going to launch new models?
What we feel is that they will launch a few new models and the remaining will, most probably, be model refreshes with some niptuck jobs here and here. However, there is almost a certainty that the recently sighted Hero MotoCorp bike could be one of them.
Hero MotoCorp has been shedding gains of late. Their balance sheets showed a 11% year-on-year decline in the first quarter net profits. Total income slipped to 6160 crores, so did the EBITDA margins. It seems the introduction of newer models is a timely step to stem the rot. Hero MotoCorp is also looking to spread its wings overseas, after having set foot in Latin America and Africa.
Do you feel Hero would be able to ive up to the challenge thrown by Honda??