Hero MotoCorp, the country's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, seems all set to play bullish on the Indian auto market as it is planning to introduce a number of new models by the end of ongoing fiscal. As many as 15 models are expected to be introduced by Hero MotoCorp by March 2014, in order to consolidate its dominating position. Sources close to the development process have revealed that the new launches will include a new version of high-end bike Karizma.
Expressing his views on the same, the Managing Director and CEO of Hero MotoCorp, Pawan Munjal was quoted as saying, “What we are showing here today is a result of our own research and development with support from our technology partners. Earlier, we had said between September 2013 and March 2014 we will have over a dozen new offerings. Today, we have 15 new products here.”
Reportedly, a number of new models will mark their presence in the third quarter of this fiscal as the auto maker is planning to cash in on the upcoming festive season. He further said, "Most of these products are for the domestic market. We expect the festive season to be good on the back of the good monsoon, recent RBI announcements and the positive sentiment coming back in the market. The market is inching up its way...my personal opinion is that the worst is behind. The two-wheeler segment is a necessity and it cannot be suppressed for long.”
Moreover, Munjal said that some of the models will be reworked versions of company's existing models, while few will be based on completely new innovations, designed at its exclusive R&D centre. “There is a lot of innovation happening in our own R&D and we will bring it to the market through some of the products we will launch. We have applied for patents for those innovations. This is showcasing our capability," he added later.
On this recent development, industry experts are of a view that Hero MotoCorp is working aggressively to come up with its own technology, apart from embarking on global expansion plans. It must be noted that as a part of its explanation plans, the auto maker has picked up 49.2 per cent stake in EBR, worth $25 million in July 2013, post marking its presence into a technology sourcing pact in 2012. On this move, Munjal said, “We will be launching the new Karizma variants which are redesigned and the engine made more powerful with our partner EBR. This is the first commercial production model in which they have played a big part in development.”
Interestingly, the first bike of Hero MotoCorp, without using the technology of its earlier partner Honda, will sparkle on the Indian roads in 2014. Also, the auto maker is busy in setting partnerships with the international brands. Hero MotoCorp entered into an partnership with AVL, Austria-based engine developer, to improve its potential in various segments. Along with, in 2012, Hero MotoCorp ventured with Engines Engineering, Italian two-wheeler design company, to work on its next-generation product portfolio. It must be noted that the company has a plan of selling 1 million units in the global markets by 2017, which will account 10 per cent of its entire sales.
Apart from company's global expansion plans, Munjal said that the auto maker will be meeting its overall sales targets, in order to maintain the leadership position. On the same, he was quoted as saying, "I am confident of achieving our targets and it will automatically lead us to maintaining our leadership position.”