Hero Vida sales have not really kicked-off the way the company would have wanted. I discuss the problems that marred its prospects…
So, Hero MotoCorp – India’s largest selling 2-wheeler manufacturer ventured in the electric space with a new brand – VIDA! The Vida has debuted with V1 electric scooter along with its variants. Hero commenced dispatches and deliveries of the V1 around December 2022. Let us quickly see how is Hero’s maiden entry in this space going after about five months of being in the market…
Hero Vida Sales
|Dec 2022||120 units|
|January 2023||450 units|
|February 2023||80 units|
|March 2023||720 units|
|April 2023||360 units|
So, as you can see, Hero has sold 1730 units of the scooter in five months which is a very disappointing number of less than 350 units a month. Generally, sales/dispatches in the initial few months are high because of the marketing hype that is created. And even if we consider that Hero was being very cautious since it is a brand new tech and was releasing limited units – 350 a month is a dismal figure!
Just for reference country’s largest selling electric 2-wheeler Ola S1 registered total sales of 21,882 units in one single month of April 2023, according to FADA. Even if we talk about legacy makers, Chetak registered 4546 units and iQube did 6227 units in one single month of April 2023.
Now that clearly means that there is something wrong with Hero Vida. What’s that…?
- Vida V1 was initially launched at an unbelievably high price tag of Rs 1.45-1.59 Lac making it the costliest electric scooter in the mass segment. In fact, V1 Pro was more than double the price of its latest petrol scooter Xoom and almost double of its 125cc scooters Maestro and Destini. In fact, for this single reason, Hero’s investors were disappointed and the scrip lost about 2 percent on the launch day.
- Even at such a steep price tag, V1 did not offer many features such as ABS, front pockets, etc. Even the charging times of 5-6 hours are a worry! Apart from that there are a few videos that talk about some issues on the scooter on Youtube as well.
- Another bigger issue is that the key specs are not class-leading. For example, the V1 could only do a top speed of 80 kph. While that is not really slow for the intended application, but there are two problems here – 1 – you are trying to sell it at a big premium and 2, rivals like Ola have claimed top speed over 110 kph!
- Since Hero was late to the party, it was expected to do something different – make a lot of noise, have some USP. Since the price was astronomical, at least the specs should have been shattering. But there is not really much that you could point your finger at and say, hey, my scooter is decidedly better than yours in this, this and that!
- Being the entry point in a new vertical, Vida should have come at a droolworthy price tag, and/or at segment-best features, specially considering that you (Hero MotoCorp) are mainly known for your family oriented products that are pretty VFM.
- Yes, that was Hero MotoCorp’s first electric but it almost owns about 35 percent of Ather – the start-up that features in the most impressive list for me. So that must have given them fair bit of experience in the specs, features and pricing department already. If the plan was to propagate that Vida’s products will play in the premium segment, over Athers, somebody needs some strategy lessons!
- Another reason for Vida’s silent start is the very low availability. V1 was initially available only in about 2-3 cities – add to that the high waiting period it had.
The lesson has been learnt. The writing on the wall has come true and Hero has corrected V1’s price by about Rs 25,000 which is over 15 percent of the initially announced tag. The question, then, is – why wasn’t ~1.20-1.30 Lac the launch price of V1? The problem here is that – there is a word that gets spread – ‘Because of no/less sales, Hero has announced a price cut‘! And that is an image problem that is very hard to do away with!
The V1 may not have been the correct strategy to approach a brand new segment but there is a lot that lies ahead on this front from India’s giant maker. Hero had inked deals with Taiwanese Gogoro as well as America’s Zero – both of which should yield many interesting products and technologies in the near future. And with Hero planning to add about 100 cities to V1’s reach, sales should improve.
It is already doing well with its subsidiary Ather but going will not be tough with arch-rival Honda announcing its entry in this segment. And with a not so nice start, it is always difficult to climb back.
What do you think – will Hero fight back and be the topmost seller in electric vehicle space as well…?