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Hero Motocorp, India’s largest two-wheeler company, launched only two new motorcycles on Wednesday, compared with 10 models of scooters and bikes that it had launched in the previous edition of the Expo in 2014. The company also unveiled two concepts — one of a 250cc motorcycle and another of an electric scooter.
The company said it was working on environment-friendly concepts and the ones showcased on Wednesday were concept models.
The products include Splendor iSmart 110cc, developed completely in-house; Xtreme 200S, the naked sports bike; XF3R, a new design and concept; and Duet-E, an electric scooter concept.
“After achieving a significant milestone in our solo journey last year, with the successful launch of the first of our in-house developed scooters, we are now setting our sights on developing smarter products for a global audience,” Pawan Munjal, chairman, managing director & chief executive officer, Hero MotoCorp, said at the Auto Expo.
The company, however, did not launch a scooter at the expo; it said it had launched it in October last year. It also said it was concentrating on bringing out bigger-engine motorcycles but the timeline of launches had not been decided so far.
“We are working on more concepts around bigger engines, and the concepts presented today are a step in that direction. Hero will be working on more bigger-engined motorcycles,” said Markus Braunsperger, chief technical officer, Hero MotoCorp.
In September last year, Hero had expanded its scooter offering with the launch of two products — the Duet and Maestro Edge. Until then, the country’s largest two-wheeler maker had two scooters to offer — the Pleasure and Maestro. Launching the company’s two first in-house scooters, Munjal had said in September that the company aimed to ‘gun for leadership in scooters’. “I know it is not going to happen overnight.”
In October, Hero saw a 74 per cent surge in wholesale scooter dispatch to dealers when compared with the same month of 2014, helped by the twin launches. Sales grew six per cent in November and 11 per cent in December. The growth from scooters is critical for Hero as it has faced a rough ride in sales of motorcycles, owing to a weakness in demand from rural markets. In December alone it saw a nine per cent drop in motorcycle sales.