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Hero to redefine brand to woo new customers

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler maker by volume, will redefine its products in the years to come. The idea is to make the brand and its vehicles more “modern and contemporary”.

business Updated: Jan 02, 2017 10:24 IST
Sunny Sen
CMD Pawan Munjal with an in-development 250cc bike
CMD Pawan Munjal with an in-development 250cc bike(HT File)

Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler maker by volume, will redefine its products in the years to come. The idea is to make the brand and its vehicles more “modern and contemporary”.

“The Splendor’s headlight will not look the same 15 years down the line,” said Markus Braunsperger, chief technology officer of Hero MotoCorp, who was the former R&D head of BMW Motorcycles.

So has Hero already started working on the next-generation products through which it will attract new customers?

“Yes, we have started developing new vehicles that will hit the road three years from now. … We are working on a bike that will be mass-produced three years later,” said Braunsperger.

To increase its presence in the premium bike segment, the firm plans to launch five models in the 150 cc and above segment. Two of the bikes were showcased during last year’s Auto Expo.

It has also launched the Achiever, a bike that already existed. But 70% of the bike had been reworked, including the engine, and will be a premium commuter bike, said Braunsperger.

In the past, Hero has failed to lure riders to buy its premium bikes, especially the Karizma. “Karizma was the big bike. Look at where we are right now (the bike didn’t do well), but it has the potential to make a comeback … ” said Braunsperger.

In the premium segment, Hero’s market share is 3-4%, with Royal Enfield and Bajaj Auto as category leaders. But the category is growing by 40-50% annually.

He further said that any bikemaker needed to understand the customer.

Similarly, Hero will not focus on classics, like the Splendor PRO Classic. “Classic means heritage. Do we have the heritage? Single seater doesn’t work in India. Before we come out with the classic bike, we need to
connect with the customer,” he said.