After split with Honda, Hero to launch first independent product in 2013-14


Hero MotoCorp, which parted ways with Japanese auto major Honda Motor Corporation (HMC) early last year, would introduce its first independently developed product in the Indian market in the next financial year. And, through the next two years, the company would introduce its own range of two-wheelers in the country.

Anil Dua, senior vice-president (marketing and sales), Hero MotoCorp, said, “We have rights to use the new products we are sourcing from Honda till 2017. While we will continue to modify and improve the existing products in our portfolio, we are also working on our own range of products with the help of our technology partners. The first such product with our own IPR (intellectual property right) will hit the roads in the next financial year.” According to the licensing agreement with HMC, Hero MotoCorp would replace the new products it would source till 2014 (such as Maestro, Ignitor and Impulse) with independently-developed products.

Dua declined to disclose the segments the company was considering foraying into with its own technology through the next two years. However, hybrid scooter Leap is on the cards. The product, being developed in association with Erik Buell Racing (EBR), was showcased by Hero MotoCorp at the Delhi auto show in January. Besides, a range of motorcycles across segments would be launched by 2016.

While Hero’s local research and development (R&D) team has been tasked with studying consumer requirements in the domestic market, technical tie-ups have been forged with firms worldwide to source expertise in specific areas. The company has signed such pacts with Italian design firm Engines Engineering, US-based performance bike manufacturer EBR and Austrian engine developer AVL.