It seems India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer has finally woken up from slumber. Amid a two-pronged scathing attack unleashed on it by Honda in the lower reaches of the commuter segment as well as by Bajaj in the premium segment, it had taken a beating. Sales of even its blockbuster models like Splendor are under pressure. Hero has retorted to defensive moves like the move of increasing the insurance cover on all its vehicles to five years.
Hero Motocorp’s operations had been under siege for quite some time now. Due to aggressive moves by Bajaj and Honda in the entry-level segment, it had seen its grip slide on the market share pie. Added to that was a widely perceived notion that Hero was just capable of straddling around on small capacity bikes, and bigger ones were just an off-limit area for them. On top of that, the corporation hadn’t launched a single new model for the last few months in a market where hitting the refresh button every six months is probably a norm.
It seems Hero is now starting to make its moves. As reported by Economic Times, Hero Motocorp is about to launch three new models in this fiscal year. This should come as a reprieve for Hero’s fans who had literally become parched in the wait for a new product from Hero. It is expected that these products will hit the market before the festive season or somewhere around or after that.
While details about these models are fairly speculative we do have reasons to believe why Hero might launch the following models. Here they are :-
- MASS SEGMENT SCOOTER:- Despite the Maestro, Hero has not been able to keep Honda’s threat at bay. Honda recently made the addition of HET-iquettes to all its 3 scooters to ensure they remain frugal. We are expecting Hero to launch a 100-125 cc scooter, comparatively jazzed up than the bulky Maestro, to be like something on the lines of the Dio, Aviator or Swish.
- ENTRY LEVEL BIKE:- Despite the Splendor and its brethren being bestsellers, the bitter truth is that they are outdated. And they are facing massive damage at the hands of Honda’s Dream Yuga (Read Roadtest) and the relatively newer Dream Neo (Details). We feel Hero’s could be a spruced-up 100-125 cc bike, unlike the boxy looking Splendor, to shore up sales on the commuter front.
- PREMIUM SEGMENT BIKE :- Time to shed the commuter-bike maker tag, or so must have Hero said to itself. Hero has never been able to provide even a minuscule of a threat to Bajaj in the premium department, allowing the Pulsar to enjoy a Home-Run. Time for things to get a little bit spicy. So what if Bajaj has the Cheeky KTM by its side? This product could be developed with technical inputs from Erik Buell Racing of USA. Things are really hotting up.
The Sleeping Giant of the Indian Automobile Troika has started stirring. Will it be a final showdown for the other manufacturers, Japanese as well as Indian? Or will it all go bust for Hero, with it not being able to retain its grip even on its traditional stronghold of entry-level bikes? Do let us know in the comments below.
Source: Economic Times