Two-wheeler major Hero Motocorp has phased out its NXG model— a variant of the world’s largest selling motorcycle Splendor— to cash in on the robust demand for scooters in the country.
The scooter segment has grown faster than mobikes for the last nine years. In 2014-15, scooter sales saw a ten times higher growth of 25% compared to motorcycles’ sales growth of 2.5%."The NXG has been phased out as we wanted to consolidate the various brands under the Splendor umbrella," said a Hero MotoCorp spokesperson. "There are no plans to phase out any other bike."
NXG was launched in 2007 as a premium offering with features such as alloy wheels, for budget-conscious consumers. But the introduction of iSmart with upgraded features last year, however, spelt the end of the road for NXG.
At present, five bikes, including the 125cc Super Splendor, constitute the Splendor brand. Currently, there are two scooters in Hero’s portfolio — Pleasure and Maestro — and the company is expected to launch at least two models by the third quarter of 2015-16.
One of them will be the 110cc Dash that was showcased in the Auto Expo last year.
Sources said Hero is also developing a full metal body unisex scooter to take on Honda’s bestseller Activa, which has been the largest selling scooter in India for almost a decade and has closed in on Splendor as the largest selling two wheeler in India.
“Hero’s portfolio with 21 motorcycles is skewed towards mobikes and the growth of scooters in recent past is a clear indication that they need more scooters,” said an industry insider. “It is obvious they need a direct rival to the Activa and they need to shake Honda’s dominance in the scooter segment.”