Hero MotoCorp confirms Rs 10,000 crore investment in R&D, new products, plants

by Autocar Pro news Desk & Sumantra B Barooah 18 Feb 2020


Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp: "As we enter a new decade, we are aiming at ushering in the next wave of mass mobility that is accessible, convenient and environment-friendly."

The world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer has revealed an aggressive investment plan designed to enable the company to ride the mobility wave on two wheels. Hero MotoCorp today kicked off ‘Hero World 2020’, a first-of-its-kind three-day event attended by global media, investors, dealers from India, supply chain partners and global distributors, at the state-of-the-art R&D hub of Hero MotoCorp, the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur.

Hero MotoCorp took the covers off three new products – the Glamour 125 with 19% more pep in power, 5-speed ‘box, priced at Rs 68,900; the 2020 Passion Pro with more style, power, fuel efficiency and priced at Rs 64,990; and the new Xtreme 160R with class-leading power-to-weight ratio with 138.5kg and 15hp.

This was followed by the showcasing of a number of product concepts and business initiatives that showcase the seeds of its vision for the future of mass mobility, and provided a glimpse into the universe of Hero MotoCorp including the R&D labs, test tracks, and technology.

Hero's Quark Express
Hero MotoCorp also unveiling the Quark 1, a concept that can be operated as a two- or three-wheeler. Based on an 'Advanced Modular Scalable Electric Platform', it is one of the multiple projects under HeroHatch, the company's incubation centre and indicative of the fact that the OEM's future mobility solutions may also have more than two wheels.

“Over the next 5-7 years, we are aiming to create the next generation of mobility solutions that are relevant to customers across the world. To this end, we have earmarked an investment of Rs. 10,000 crore along with our ecosystem, which will be utilised towards research and development of alternative mobility solutions, modern, state-of-the-art, sustainable manufacturing facilities, network expansion, and brand building across the globe.

“We are an ever-evolving, youth-centric, innovation-led brand that has remained the market-leader for nearly two decades now, and yet we are not resting on our laurels. As we enter a new decade, we are aiming at ushering in the next wave of mass mobility that is accessible, convenient and environment-friendly, which is aligned with our rejuvenated Vision of ‘Be The Future of Mobility’, said Dr Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp

Malo Le Masson, Head - Global Product Planning, Hero MotoCorp, said, “Constant innovation and cutting-edge technologies remain the hallmark of Hero MotoCorp. The new products and technologies showcased today display our pursuit to offer the most exciting, innovative and efficient products and technologies to our customers in markets across the world. The journey doesn’t stop, here we plan to strengthen our portfolio further and expect more exciting surprises in the future.”

Hero MotoCorp re-aligns its vision for sustainable growth
Over 19 years, following the split with Honda Motor Co, Hero MotoCorp has produced and sold 90 million motorcycles and scooters, set up 9,000 touch-points and has eight facilities, including two overseas. Now, as the two-wheeler market, both in India and abroad, scrabbles for growth in a disruptive environment that is seeing electric two-wheelers make the headlines, the company is re-aligning its vision for sustainable growth.

Addressing the media, Dr Munjal said, “This is the right time to shift gears. Also, drive the change and stay ahead of the curve. Changing times call for change in structures. Hero MotoCorp is changing faster than you think.” While also acknowledging the challenging times, he added that “he won’t leave any stone unturned.”

Reminiscing about the past, commenting on the present and projecting the future, he said that from three manufacturing plants in 2010, Hero MotoCorp now has eight plants including one each in Colombia and Bangladesh. Similarly, the growth in R&D activity has been massive: “In 2011m we had a very small R&D operation at the Dharuhera plant. Now CIT, to my mind, is one of the top 5 R&D centres in the auto industry globally,” said Dr Munjal. CIT, which was set up in 2016, has till now helped developed more than 150 products including new vehicles and variants and helped complete a number of other projects.

Meanwhile, the Hero MotoCorp revealed that the company will, in a few months, achieve the cumulative production milestone of 100 million units since rollout of Hero bikes began in 1985. This is the fastest for any company around the global, claims Dr Munjal.

On the export front, the company in 2011 was selling its products in just four countries – Nepal, Colombia and Sri Lanka. It is today present in 40 years in Asia, Africa and Central and South America.

Hero is also betting big once again on the premum bike segment in India, one which it created with the CBZ but lost the plot later. Now, with the Xtreme 160 and Impulse 200, the company is upping the game. “In the 150-200cc segment, we are seeing 23% YoY growth and 75% customers in that segment are first-time buyers – 50% beloiw 25 years

How Hero MotoCorp’s market share stacks up
Hero MotoCorp, which is the two-wheeler market leader in India has, like the rest of the industry, been impacted by the prolonged slowdown. In the April 2019-January 2020 period, the company has sold a total of 5,434,577 units, which is down 15.86% on year-ago sales (6,458,857). This gives it an overall two-wheeler market share of 35.62%, ahead of Honda which has 27.17% market share.

Hero Moto Corp sold a total of 5,076,861 motorcycles (51.66% motorcycle market share), which accounts for an overwhelming 93.41% of total two-wheeler sales. The balance is made up by scooters with a total of 357,716 units (7.33% scooter market share).