With Honda and TVS catching their breadth, Hero needs to fill their performance portfolios.
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheels and no one understands commuting more than this company. Hero enjoys an unprecedented success when it comes to the commuter class of 100-110cc motorcycles. Out of the 24 models that they sell in the Indian market currently, 18 of them are in the 100-125cc commuter motorcycles and scooters, and just two models of the Karizma are in the 200cc sports bracket. It looks like this excessive focus and dependence on the commuter market is going to become Hero’s deterrent hurdle in terms of market share and sales.
There have not been any breakthrough model for the company in the performance models and with the ₹ 13.8 lakh Hayabusas outselling the ₹1.05 lakh Karizma’s, it was high time that Hero understood their problem and gave heed to its performance-oriented developments to tap the market shares.
Luckily, they have made some head starts just in time and have invested ₹ 2500 crores for new product developments, expanding capacities, upgrading their existing plants with more modern manufacturing techniques and setting up new plants. They have also announced the launch of six new models for the coming year to attain aggressive market share gains.
The sturdy package from Hero receives a couple of upgrades for 2017.
Till date, Hero has enjoyed quite a good amount of success with its scooter range which until two years ago was restricted to only two scooters – Pleasure and Maestro. Although both of these scooters have been unable to dethrone the Honda Activa from the number one spot, it has helped Hero Motocorp to secure the second position in the scooter segment. To take on this success streak even further, Hero introduced two more scooters which not only expanded the scooter lineup of Hero and gave the buyers more options to choose from, but also helped Hero to increase its share in the scooter category.
Out of the two new scooters which were launched by Hero – Maestro Edge and Duet, the latter has a wider customer base for being a unisex metal bodied scooter. Though slowly, the Duet is being accepted by the masses for being a sturdy scooter that is loaded enough to make it a good value for money product. The Duet has been updated for the year 2017 as a slightly more modern package with a couple of changes on the board, which has freshened up its overall appeal. Here’s a quick look at what all changed does the new Duet gets:-
Manufacturers took them off the shelves to make way for new models.
As you all know, starting from April 1st, 2017, the Supreme Court has ordered all manufacturers to stop registering and selling vehicles still running on BS-III engines. To clear them before the deadline all dealers who had stock started levying massive discounts on their products, and some even lost money in this process. The industry took a ₹ 600 crore hit due to the three-day discount fest.
Then there were few motorcycles that just did not sell despite the discounts. This was the cue for the manufacturers to take them off the shelves completely and get a new replacement machine for the same ones. While some of them have been replaced, few others just could not manage to burn the midnight oil and live up to expectation. They were just phased out of the assembly lines. Here is a list of those who couldn’t make it to the party this year:-
The most affordable fuel injected motorcycle now gets more marks on styling too.
When it comes to the commuter segment of motorcycles in the Indian market, the technology of fuel injection is seen as a rather premium feature, which is limited to only a handful of them. It all started with Hero/Hero Honda launching the Glamour PGM-FI back in 2006, which was followed by the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-FI and Honda Stunner PGM-FI. And then came a slew of entry-level performance motorcycles, all of which came with this feature as standard.
Talking about the inception of fuel injection in commuters, the Glamour FI was the first motorcycle to incorporate this feature. And given the fact that Hero seldom discontinues its motorcycles, the Glamour FI is still on sale, thus being the most affordable fuel injected motorcycle on sale in the Indian two wheeler market.
For 2017, the Glamour has been completely revamped with the new model officially available on the shelf and Hero has launched the fuel injected version of the same. The Glamour FI, obviously, is completely based on the new standard carbureted Glamour, except for a few changes. Here’s a quick look at the latest iteration of the Hero Glamour FI:-
The premiere commuter now gets AHO, BS-IV and i3S technology making it a smart hybrid.
It’s no surprise that the brand ‘Splendor’ is responsible for the Hero MotoCorp fame and success stories one would find in its record books. The Splendor has seen several iterations in the 100cc segment, ranging from the conventional commuter to a café racer. Hero did intend to cash in this popularity of Splendor even in the segment of 125cc commuters, courtesy the Super Splendor.
Launched as a more premium and powerful version of the 100cc Splendor Plus, the Super Splendor looks like a perfect evolution of the latter. It was with the Super Splendor that Hero MotoCorp made its foray into a more premium segment of commuters, 125cc motorcycles to be precise.
In its entire span of existence, the Super Splendor has undergone a number of minimal updates, which have managed to keep the motorcycle fresh in order to face the tide of time effectively. The motorcycle has once again received a minor update recently, which includes only a couple of cosmetic changes and feature additions. Here’s a brief preview of the latest version of the Hero Super Splendor:-
Hero’s number one scooter is a feature packed all-rounder.
Hero enjoys an unprecedented success when it comes to the commuter class of 100-110cc motorcycles. But when it comes to the segment of automatic scooters, it didn’t have an offering to thrash the undisputed leadership of the scooters, the Honda Activa. Though the Maestro and Pleasure did churn up decent volumes for the manufacturer in the country, they still haven’t been able to bring down the sales of Honda scooters, which have been selling like hot cakes.
Then came the Maestro Edge and Duet, which further strengthen the scooter lineup for Hero in the country. However, the sales of the Maestro Edge have turned out to be a bit lower than what Hero had expected. So now, Hero has tried to infuse some novelty in the Maestro Edge for the year 2017 by adding a couple of new features to the scooter. Let’s have a look at what all changes do the new Maestro Edge get:-
The company plans to roll out two new products every year.
Hero Electric has been the sub-brand of Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. The company is a multi-product and a multi-location enterprise with interests in Electric Vehicles, Bicycles and Healthcare. With the newfound interest in electric powertrains, Hero has made strides in this direction and are betting big on the technology.
It has been launching electric two-wheelers for some time now and has sold over 1 lakh customers. They, however, were not market spec vehicles like the Tork T6X or Ather S340 and were very underpowered. Now, they have tied up with the German Technology giant, Bosch, to get things around for them.
The list includes a model from almost all the manufacturers from India. We ought to give them some slack.
In our number of stories, we have repeatedly said that the Indian two wheeler market is one tough field to study. The kind of demands we Indians do ask from two-wheeler makers are quite hard to conquer, as we want literally everything in one product.
Keeping in view of such demands from a very competitive market, the manufacturers too are doing a tremendous job by offering products which are offering a good blend of all the traits in one single package. Out of all these products, some do hit the sales charts with massive popularity, while some of them end up being average or low sellers, despite being a brilliant piece of engineering and design.
In this feature story, we are going to throw some light on the latter category of motorcycles and scooters, ones which are not selling as expected despite being wonderful in one way or the other. Here’s a list of all such unfortunate and underrated motorcycles and scooters, and we seriously wish that they do post impressive numbers for their makers:-
You may be able to book a Hero bike ride from Uber in future.
Uber is the world’s largest cab aggregator which has invested heavily into running their service in India. To get a stronger foothold, the firm had launched uberMOTO in few cities of the country on a pilot basis. “uberMOTO enables riders to tap a button and get a motorbike ride in minutes. It’s a great way for people to save time and money on short trips and provides last mile connectivity at the most affordable price”.
Now, they are working to strike a chord with the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, and start a full-fledged bike-taxis in the country.
There is fresh grass growing on the 125cc scooter field and its time for a kick-off.
The launch of the Activa saw the country’s first ever four-stroke automatic scooter. It singlehandedly showed signs of the rise and comeback of scooters in India.
Although it had a 100cc motor, it ruled the commuter segment, and the rest followed suit. Every other manufacturer except Bajaj started making scooters and claimed theirs to be the best one. Currently, there are scooters falling under the 100cc, 110cc, 125cc and 150cc segments, of which the 100cc and 110cc ones are almost saturated with a million options.
The 125cc and 150cc, on the other hand, have only a couple of players which the manufacturers are looking at taking advantage of. TVS and Hero are two of those.
The Italian company might look at partnering with the fine looking Indian two-wheeler industry
Ducati always has had this insanity in them to time and again bring up machines that push the boundaries of two-wheeled glory, a boundary that will make every other manufacturer look like a speck of dust. For this alone, we must hand it to the Italian with all pomp and flair that they can literally pull off true bloody special motorcycles of unmistakable design and most profound sporting spirit.
Now, according to Economic Times, this iconic motorcycle manufacturer are planning to enter into a partnership with companies like Hero MotoCorp or Royal Enfield to have a new dig at possible engine manufacturing or strategic technology sharing capabilities.
The pillar of success for the Indian brand gets tech savvy
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheels and no one understands commuting more than this company. They have had a good run all this while, and their big guns were, in fact, the commuter segment which outsold any other motorcycle in the same segment. They were pioneers in getting electric start to the segment amongst others.
For 2017, Hero MotoCorp is upgrading all their motorcycles with new additions that are both green and excite customer satisfaction. The Hero Passion Pro also gets its due and gets an i3s moniker beside it.
And become the second Indian to do so after Mahindra
There is ‘motorcycle’ and then there is ‘motorcycle racing’. Each of them has a different meaning for every manufacturer. And being associated with the latter is a form of prestige to them. The term ‘motorcycle racing’ was coined the day the second motorcycle was ever made. Since then, the world of racing has seen a great deal of competition and rivalry amongst competing manufacturers and builders, all vying for the glory of unadulterated use of power and the pride of being at the top of their game.
The Indian two-wheeler industry is now evolving to become a major player on the world stage. Today they are capable of producing motorcycles that beam innovation and technology acumen at the highest standards giving the competition a run for their money.
Both Indian teams complete the gruelling course successfully
The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is the world’s most challenging cross-country rally event that judges the physical and mental aptitudes of the rider and the machine since its inception in 1978.
Man and machine are made to traverse the toughest of terrains that include sand dunes, mud, grass, rocks, ergs and everything inhumane for a catastrophic 9000 kilometres. It demands the greatest level of endurance and concentration to charter through the wild.
Hero’s entry level gets something missing on most high-ends
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheels and no one understands commuting more than this company. They have had a good run all this while, and their big guns were infact the commuter segment which outsold any other motorcycle in the same segment. They were pioneers in getting electric start to the segment amongst others.
The entry level commuter segment motorcycle from Hero is the HF Deluxe (CD Deluxe when Hero had partnered with Honda) after the HD Dawn. In 2010, the bike received minimal updates with regards to a few cosmetic makeovers. In 2014, a side stand indicator and a clear lens headlamp unit was installed that gave it a fresh look. The side body cowls were all new, and are longer and aerodynamic than before.
Like in all other eight 100cc commuters of Hero, this 97.2cc engine on the HF Deluxe is light and peppy, with enough zest to take on exhaustive city duties with ease. The engine develops a higher power output of 8.36 bhp, while the maximum torque output stands at 8.05 Nm.
For 2016, Hero launched a new piece of technology to their commuter motorcycles called the iSmart. It equipped the Achiever 150 and Splendor 110 with this tech which does the job of a micro-hybrid vehicle. The basic principle here is to not burning the fuel when it is not required. The system will detect when the vehicle is put to idle and this will de-activate the engine thus conserving fuel.
For example, when you roll to a halt in traffic signals, and shift to neutral, the iSmart technology will shut the engine and will start if for you as soon as you press the clutch to put the motorcycle in gear. This will help attaining better fuel efficiency and reduce running costs.
According to the source, the iSmart enabled HF Deluxe will hit the showrooms in the month of January and Hero will probably equip its entire fleet of two wheeler with this piece of innovation and help in having a better consumer satisfaction.
As per government orders, Hero might also add the AHO (Automatic Headlight On) to the HF Deluxe and the rest of its product line-up.