Hero MotoCorp will focus on the premium motorcycle category in new product
development and rollout as the company's in-house product development team
works on higher-powered bikes.
chairman of the country's biggest two-wheeler company, said that there is a
need for Hero to play a more active role in the upper segment of the bike
market which is currently dominated by products from companies such as Bajaj
Auto BSE 0.12 %, Yamaha and Royal Enfield.
needs to do a lot more in the premium segment," Munjal said as he launched
a new 150cc motorcycle, Achiever, priced at Rs 61,800 (ex-showroom Delhi).
is just the beginning of a wide and vast effort in the premium segment ...
there is a lot more to come," he said.
currently dominates the entry end of the bike market with products such as the
Splendor and Passion, but has not been able to make much of a headway in the
premium products, which fetch higher profit margins. Its share in the premium
segment is in low single-digit percentage point, though the company is now targeting
to take this up to double digits.
the Achiever, Hero's products in the premium category include Xtreme, Hunk
(both 150cc), Karizma and ZMR (both 225 cc). However, the products have not
been able to crack success with buyers, prompting the company to look at new
products as well as upgrades.
been trying to build-up its strength in product development through the
in-house Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur, for which it has
hired expats such as Head of Product Planning Malo Le Masson (formerly with
premium car brand Infiniti) and Chief Technology Officer Markus Braunsperger
(earlier with BMW).
said that development of new products and higher-powered bikes is one of the
key agenda in front of the company. A 200cc sports version of the Xtreme is
under development and is expected for launch in the coming quarters.
- which has seen its cumulative production cross 70 million this month -- said
that bike sales are expected to bounce back on good monsoon and a possible
revival in rural demand. Demand during the 'onam' festival in the south has
been healthy and volumes moved up 35%.
MotoCorp to focus on premium bikes category: Pawan Munjal
It was a
podium finish at an electric two-wheeler race in the Isle of Man some half a
decade ago that stoked Kapil Shelke's interest in turning his passion for
racing into actually building the bikes he rode. Participating in the
international circuit for four years also offered the 29-year old engineer a
first-hand view of what an ideal electric racing bike must be like, and what attributes
would appeal to hard-core enthusiasts.
So much so,
that when his Pune-based startup Tork unveiled its newest product-T6X—an
electric-powered racing bike this September, pre-orders poured in, with 1000
bookings in just one day. "This is a good start," says Shelke, a
graduate from Pune University who founded the company in 2010.
Ather Energy, backed by Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny BSE -1.30 %
Bansal, has assembled a multi-disciplinary team to build its first product – a
smart electric scooter.
diverse talent from mechanical engineers to vehicle stylists, user interface
and experience specialists, electrical, power, hardware and software engineers,
Ather -which has also raised funding from New York-based investment firm Tiger
Global -is looking to create an end-to-end framework for the manufacture of
electric two-wheelers in the country. These are not pipe dreams. Ather, Tork
and peers like the Coimbatore-based Ampere Vehicles and Spero are riding a new
wave of opportunity that has opened up for the electric vehicle industry led by
reduction in prices for key components, like the battery, to growing support
from the government.
startups are by no means the first movers in the space but they are benefiting
from a conducive environment taking shape. The price of lithium-ion
batteries-which power electric vehicles-has dropped nearly four-fold since
about a decade back, moving down to about $200 per battery today from $800 in
2008 according to industry estimates.
is a dramatic change," says Tarun Mehta, chief executive of Ather Energy,
as it is one component that can bring about a steep reduction in the cost of
the vehicle. Typically, the battery constitutes up to 30 per cent to 50 per
cent of the total price.
On its part,
the government has made clear its intention to transform the country into a
nation that runs on only electric vehicles by 2030. "The intention is
there, the policies will soon come in for these to happen," says Chetan
Maini, founder of Reva-India's' first electric car -which was acquired by auto
major Mahindra & Mahindra in 2010.
need for eco-friendly transport is rising across Indian cities.
for example, the experiment in the National Capital Region, where petrol and
diesel fuelled vehicles were regulated on the basis of their number plates, in
a bid to reduce vehicular pollution. "You will soon see a
transformation," says Maini. At present, electric vehicles sales account
for less than 1 per cent of all total vehicle sales in India according to
industry lobby group Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).
are also betting on the price parity for electric vehicles vis- a- vis petrol
vehicles becoming a reality in the next three years. "That is when the
market will flip," says Mehta of Ather. The 27-year old IIT-Madras
graduate teamed up with Swapnil Jain to set up the company in October 2013 at
the incubation centre in their alma mater.
entire rationale to buy a petrol vehicle will disappear," says Mehta when
"consumers can buy an electric vehicle which will cost pretty much the
same as a petrol vehicle, will cost six to eight times less to run, is
noise-free, requires far less maintenance, offers more storage space and is
The task at
hand for this set of entrepreneurs is to therefore change the perception of
electric bikes as slow and stodgy. Ather's smart scooter S340, claims a top
speed of 72 kmph, has a touchscreen dashboard with built-in navigation and
allows riders to set up multiple profiles. The battery lasts for 60 km on a
single one-hour charge. Tork's e-bike T6X, offers a 100km range before it needs
to be recharged and delivers a top speed of 100kmph along with navigation.
wanted to give the consumers something that they have not ever seen," says
Shelke, the chief executive of Tork Motorcycles.
their goals, these founders are focusing on building the right teams. Mehta and
Jain of Ather, started with a few interns in 2013, but today have a team of
more than 120 engineers and are looking to add a 100 more in the coming months.
This approach has helped them build most technology in-house, control quality
and put in place processes for quick expansion when demand spikes. This
includes setting up back-end systems like a robust vendor ecosystem
startups that ET spoke to are targeting different areas of the market, at
present. Ather Energy is building a scooter, Tork is building a bike, Spero is
a cycle-cum-e-bike while Ampere's scooter is primarily aimed at users in tier 2
and tier 3 towns.
Spero has built an e-cycle which comes with a motorcycle like an accelerator.
One can either paddle away or simply accelerate through the traffic. "We
see a revival in cycling, users are not looking at travelling more than 100
kilometres, so (the vehicle) can be charged at home or office. The adoption
will be faster than other electric vehicles," says Manikandan S, the
founder of Spero. "A place like Bengaluru also has cycling tracks. This is
wonderful opportunity to take it to the next stage."
with a five-speed digital gear system and riders can rev up from zero kmph to
25 kmph in just 10 seconds. The e-bike is also the country's first
crowd-sourced electric bike and has raised Rs 66 lakhs.
of this cohort, Ampere Vehicles—set up in 2008-already has multiple products,
all targeted at tier 2 and tier 3 towns. "We work on providing a long life
of five to seven years for the battery," says Hemalatha Annamalai, CEO of
of the view that as the market matures, ancillary businesses will also evolve.
Startups that provide services like battery assembly/production, charging
infrastructure and e-vehicles as-aservice, will become a part of the
mainstream. "The key areas will be batteries, management systems and
chargers. For startups with limited resources, this will be a large
advantage," says Maini.
their part, are hoping the government will play its role in accelerating the
process by helping to create a robust network of charging stations and framing
more favourable policies. While there are a host of policies in place, there is
need for the "dots to connect." "The government must ensure easy
availability of low-cost finance for regional players. In electric vehicles,
batteries must be given concessional import taxes regardless of usage, as it
completely eliminates road pollution," says Annamalai of Ampere.
are also doing their bit to build charging infrastructure by partnering with
cafes, restaurants, malls and apartment complexes. Tork Motorcycles has already
set up six units in Pune and Ather Energy has plans to set up enough charging
units across Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune, so that a user will not be more than
two kilometres away from a unit.
facilities to be widely used, there is need for standardisation across the
industry both in battery and charging infrastructure. "All electric
vehicles use their own pins, hopefully this will be standardised in the next
12-36 months and charging models will become universal," says Manikandan
this is already happening. Battery rental systems will also evolve." The
greater challenge is to withstand competition from advanced markets like China,
Europe and the US. "They are a different scale of startups- focused on
certain segments, many companies have not been successful in translating
whatever works in China into India, " says Maini, who is of the view that
Indian startups looking at "Indian concerns and processes will be
successful." Maini is also a part of the government panel which is working
on pushing the electric vehicle agenda in the country.
also hope that large corporations will work more closely with them to push
their own clean energy agenda. "In times of technology transition and
disruption, which is where the electric vehicle industry is now, big players
have never delivered, only new players have," says Annamalai of Ampere
dreams: The story of Indian market for electric two-wheelers
Motors has received around 50,000 bookings for their Tiago hatchback in
India, with a waiting period of almost 4 months for select variants. Tata
Motors launched the Tiago hatchback on April 6 at Rs 3.20 lakh (ex showroom,
Tiago hatchback, built on Tata Motors all new IMPACT design, was showcased at
the Auto Expo 2016 as Tata Zica.
In an interview to ET Auto, Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger
Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors said, "The sales of Tiago have been
increasing month after month, At present, we are doing around 5,000 units. Our
impact design philosophy has been widely accepted by our customers. The main
trigger behind the success of Tiago is the design. We cheap">http://www.rcxrate.com/">cheap rc drones are seeing a different
set of customers for Tiago. Young executives and young families are buying
Tiago is available with a 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine and a 1.05-litre
Revotorq diesel engine options. Moreover, Tata Motors is also mulling over the
launch of Tata Tiago Sport, with tuned up engine to give better performance.
Tata Motors has a fire-pack launches lined up for the next few
months with the Kite 5, Hexa and Nexon in India.
NEW DELHI: Hero
Motors today said its transmission division has received order
from Italy-based Ducati to manufacture bike gears for the superbike maker's premium
One of the world's leading motorcycle
manufacturers has chosen Hero group's transmission division to make an
important component of its premium motorcycles is evidence of the company's
expertise, the company said in a statement.
"This definitely is a big leap for us and we
are quite excited about this new development," Hero Group CMD Pankaj Munjal said.
"With this win, we are not only forging a
strong relationship with a global two wheeler leader but also reaffirming
Hero's proficiency and expertise in specialised manufacturing," he added.
Leading brands like BMW and Harley
Davidson already source components from Hero. Almost 80 per cent of
the company's business comes from global players.
Hero has invested Rs 150 crore to set up
infrastructure. It also plans to pump in similar amount to scale up its
operations for the international market.
Source : Hero
Motors to manufacture bike gears for Ducati
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