Hero MotoCorp today entered the growing 125cc market with the new Destini, launched at Rs 54,650 for the LX variant and Rs 57,500 for the VX (ex-showroom Delhi). The Destini 125, which gets a re-worked 110cc motor from the Hero Duet, now develops 8.7bhp at 6750rpm and maximum torque of 10.2 Nm at 5000rpm. And it is readying another 125cc scooter with more power to keep the Destini company as well as draw buyers into its fold.
While Hero MotoCorp intends to pitch the new scooter at the core of the 125cc segment, as well as make it attractive for customers upgrading from a 110cc scooter, the company’s launch strategy points to the company making a beeline for the family buyer, who values durability and economy over outright power.
Malo Le Masson (left) with Dr Markus Braunsperger, chief technology officer, Hero MotoCorp at the launch of the new Destini 125.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Malo Le Masson, head, Global Product Planning, Hero MotoCorp, said, “Even in the 125cc scooter segment, the majority of the volumes lie in the commuter space, where fuel efficiency, convenience and durability remain top customer priorities and suit their basic needs.”
Even though it is a 125cc product, the Destini produces 8.7bhp of power, relatively lower than what the competition offers at over 9bhp. “Our aim was not sheer power delivery but a linear and flat torque curve, which would aid overall rideability in city conditions,” said Masson.
Maestro Edge 125 coming soon
Hero MotoCorp is also readying a sibling to the Destini 125 in the form of a 125cc variant of the Maestro Edge scooter. It will go head to head with the TVS NTorq and the Honda Grazia, with more power and features such as a disc brake setup and fully digital speedometer console. Expect this new scooter after Diwali.
“Even with the Maestro Edge, we will not target peak power figures but will focus on the acceleration and good riding capability. We will offer features such as disc brake among other things in the Maestro Edge 125,” he revealed.
The company will position the Maestro Edge 125 above the Destini, and the scooter will command a premium over its youngest sibling in terms of price.
Looking at the larger picture, the Destini is a re-worked Duet with the company fine-tuning the engine-related gremlins which plagued the 110cc scooter, and also the reason for a complete re-branding of the product, wherein it chose to keep it out of the Duet umbrella.
“With an overwhelming response to our product at the showcase at the Auto Expo in February, our network partners advised that we ensured to reflect the same product but in a different brand equity and therefore, there was a proposal to shift to a bigger brand. Hence, we took a conscious call to re-brand it as Destini, and since it was not fully planned like that, we also decided to cater to two different segments at once with clever variants.”
Scooters have made their mark on the Indian two-wheeler firmament over the past two years. According to Masson, “What once happened with motorcycles, is happening here – scooters are getting diversified. What was earlier a case of one-size-fits-all is now changing. There is not only one segment (110cc), but also the 125cc category, which is also doing decent numbers.”
“Within the 125cc segment, there is a split in the offering, where just a couple of years ago, there were only two major players owning almost 50 percent of the market. Now there are at least four major contenders if not five and with our products coming in, the market is set to become more crowded,” he added.
After accelerating in the fast lane for quite some time, the scooter segment, of late, is witnessing a moderation in its growth. Mason affirms that by saying, “There is still scope for growth, but not at the same rate as before, and also not being driven by the same segment. It will not only be only the core 110cc commuter scooters driving growth and scooterisation of the country, but it is now going be supported by the 125cc category and within that by two different sets of customers.”
Also read: Hero MotoCorp launches Destini 125 scooter with start-stop tech at Rs 54,650
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