At the EICMA 2017, Hero Motocorp revealed the new Xpulse concept to give us a glimpse into the bike maker’s premium future. Although it did pour a little cold water on what many expected to be a full reveal of a premium, production-ready motorcycle. However, Hero Motocorp is one of the big spenders at the bi-annual Auto Expo which is scheduled for February 2018, and this piece of news does indicate that some new fireworks could be on display.
During an interview on the sidelines of the EICMA 2017, when asked about the number of premium products the company is likely to introduce, Hero Motocorp Chairman MD and CEO Mr Pawan Munjal said, “Overall we plan to launch half a dozen products during the current fiscal and premium models would be part of it. Going forward, there will be further launches in the premium as well as scooter models.”
India’s largest two-wheeler maker is also working to come out with a separate retail channel to sell its premium products (150 cc and above). Their present dealership network of 6,000+ outlets currently dishes out entry-level bikes like the Splendor, HF Deluxe and Glamour, along with a handful of performance-oriented machines like the Karizma ZMR and the Xtreme Sports.
Talking about the move, Mr Munjal said, “As we go forward, we will have more products in the premium segment with higher engine capacity. Clearly, a customer for 100cc is very different from a customer for a premium bike. So we are considering a retail strategy with which we will be able to service that kind of customers. The XPulse (concept) that we showed today is in that (premium) segment and there are other products that are under development currently. The company would launch more models over 150cc, including bikes and scooters, to bolster its premium product range.”
When asked about how the Hero portfolio would look 2-3 years down the line, Munjal said, “Going forward, because there is big growth in scooters, growth in the premium segment, where we have a small market share, the difference will be there but we cannot ignore our bread and butter segment.” He, however, added, “There is increased focus from us on scooters and premium offerings.”