Hero’s upcoming plans appear to focus on alternative mobility solutions apart from the conventional products. We discuss…
Hero MotoCorp deserves accolades for maintaining its lead in the Indian two-wheeler market despite its break-up with its longtime partner Honda earlier in this decade. Honda was the technology supplier in the erstwhile Hero Honda partnership and the termination of the joint operations meant that Hero had to buckle up, develop its own technology at a rapid pace to ensure the transition is seamless and does not affect its leadership in sales.
Though the two top sellers – Splendor and HF Deluxe, which form majority of the sales for Hero are still dependent on Honda’s 97cc engine, the company has managed to cope up and it is developing its own engines and technology which other products in the range are getting. Gradually, in the coming few years Hero will shed complete dependence on Honda and will be reliant on its own tech.
In its pursuit of further strengthening itself, Hero has shifted gears and this is for the first time in many years it has spoken like a market leader. The good thing this time is that its products appear to back its claims and promises.
Hero conducted a one mega event called as Hero World 2020 at its CIT center in Jaipur where it invited global media, investors, Indian dealers, Global distributors and supply chain partners. It promised to invest whopping ₹10,000 crores over the next 5-7 years to create next generation mobility solutions for India and the world. This capex will be utilized in Research & Development of alternative mobility platforms, network expansion, new manufacturing facilities and brand building across the world. To this end, Hero has launched a new rejuvenated vision – Be the Future of Mobility!
In terms of products, it unveiled the very interesting Xtreme 160R which has received a promising response from the market. It also showcased new Bharat Stage 6 compliant Passion and Glamour – two of its impressive sellers. It also officially launched a kit for its Xpulse 200 which transforms it into a near rally motorcycle, at reasonable prices (details). A near 300cc ADV prototype placed at the venue gave us an insight into the company’s plans for its products (pics and details here).
Hero has been the market leader for almost two decades now but after the split it appeared to go wayward by showcasing some out-of-the-world concept products and later not even talking about them. However, in the last couple of years we have seen a more balanced Hero which is showing ‘achievable’ concepts and the latest example of its quick go-to-market strategy is the Xtreme 160R (launch next month) which is based on the Xtreme 1R concept showcased in November 2019.