We Want to be No 1 in Premium Segment in 3-4 Years: Hero

Hero’s dream of becoming number one in the premium segment will need a complete overhaul of their brand image and a new mindset which does NOT think only-commuters!

Hero is on a high after the launch of three new 200 cc motorcycles yesterday. They introduced a new brand ‘Xpulse’ which has two motorcycles – Xpulse 200 ADV and Xpulse 200T tourer; and the other ‘premium’ brand Xtreme also now consists of two motorcycles – full faired Xtreme 200S and the existing naked Xtreme 200R.

The biggest issue with Hero has been the fact that it has not found takers of its motorcycles in the 125+cc segment. It, once sold as many as four different 150cc motorcycles and despite that, it was either the last or the second last in terms of sales. The current situation is that it managed to sell only 20,935 150 cc motorcycles in the complete financial year of 2018-19 – much lower than even the second lowest seller! But it appears they have a different plan!

They are now focusing on the 200cc segment where again they have been dismal sellers, with the 2014 Karizmas bombing in the market. But with a four-motorcycle strategy they hope to make it big here. In a report at Money Control, Sanjay Bhan, Hero’s head of sales & after sales said…

We plan to gradually ramp up our presence in the premium segment. It is more of a long-term plan either to be number one or close to number one in the next three to four years as it cannot be done overnight..

To achieve this, Hero has plans to introduce more motorcycles to build the brand. Mr Bhan added…

The company will keep investing to build the brand and will look at introducing models for the segment (up to 400-450 cc)..

It is great to see Hero getting aggressive on the product front but they will have to do much more than what they think they have done because they are at least a decade late in responding.

Hero Sales 200cc Segment
HX250R, first introduced in 2014, would have helped Hero but they shelved the project and gave a very funny excuse for that…

TEMPTING! Xpulse 200 Launched at ₹97,000 – India’s Cheapest ADV

They are currently playing very safe and are still using Honda’s old technology on all their premium products. Their 200cc engine which produces segment lowest power, is a rebored version of Honda Unicorn’s motor. The Karizma is also a Honda’s tech. We will also discuss the difference in sales between the two brands in this segment in another story…

Surprise! Full Faired Xtreme 200S Launched at ₹ 98,500

But do you think Hero can catch up with Bajaj, TVS and others in the premium segment with the image they currently have…?