Hero MotoCorp sells more bikes in India than the number 2 and number 3 combined. Yes, sales of Hero far exceed that of Honda and Bajaj combined, with most of them coming from the mass market commuter segment, which comprises of 100cc and 125cc motorcycles. Hero’s majority sales then comes from the Splendor and Passion, which account might bring them the volumes but not the profits. Margins on lesser capacity machines is lower and thus Bajaj Auto can happily claim of being the most profitable. With a gradual change of consumer preference towards higher capacity motorcycles, Hero MotoCorp has commenced work on a 250cc bike, which they intend to launch in 2014.
“The product will be well-researched and futuristic in nature. Even as market research is underway, a prototype of the bike is ready. However, it’s subject to alterations as the taste of Indian two-wheeler consumers is expected to change dramatically with the country’s per capita income growing at a rapid pace,” a person directly involved with the project said.
Sales data shows that the 250cc segment expanded by 75% in fiscal year 2011-2012. With the Honda CBR250R, KTM Duke 200 and the Pulsar 200 NS seeing high interest from consumers, Hero cannot ignore this segment if they want to maintain their numero uno position. Close to 300 people from Hero’s R&D team are working with Erik Buell to develop motorcycles (design and technology), while the engines will be made by Hero in association with AVL of Austria.
This 250cc motorcycle will be the first Hero product made without any help from Honda. It might not set the sales chart on fire but will help the company in brand positioning. The Hero 250cc motorcycle would most likely be a single-cylinder producing around 23 BHP of power and 20 Nm of torque. It is expected to feature aggressive styling and the prototype is already standing at Hero’s R&D center in Gurgaon. Will Hero call this the Karizma 250 or will they come up with a new name? Only time will tell. But it sure is exciting time ahead for the biking fraternity.
Source – LiveMint