Hero MotoCorp, India's largest two-wheeler maker, is stepping up product launches and plans to introduce over 15 offerings by March next year as it seeks to consolidate its leadership position.
The offerings include a refreshed version of its high-end bike Karizma. This is Hero's first commercial production model in which US-based partner Erik Buell Racing (EBR) has played a major development role since their tie-up.
"What we are showing here today is a result of our own research and development with support from our technology partners. Earlier, we had said between September 2013 and March 2014 we will have over a dozen new offerings. Today, we have 15 new products here," Hero MotoCorp managing director and CEO Pawan Munjal said at the Hero Global Sales and Marketing Conference here.
A majority of the new offerings will hit the market in the October-December quarter as the company looks to cash in on the festive season in India.
"Most of these products are for the domestic market. We expect the festive season to be good on the back of the good monsoon, recent RBI announcements and the positive sentiment coming back in the market," he said.
Hero is bullish about sales prospects in India in the months ahead."The market is inching up its way...my personal opinion is that the worst is behind. The two-wheeler segment is a necessity and it cannot be suppressed for long," Munjal said.
Munjal said while some of the new offerings will be refreshed versions of existing models, others will have innovations developed by the company's R&D team, for which patents have been sought.
"There is a lot of innovation happening in our own R&D and we will bring it to the market through some of the products we will launch. We have applied for patents for those innovations. This is showcasing our capability," he said.
Hero has been working aggressively to develop its own technology, besides embarking on an international expansion spree, since the group parted ways with Honda in 2010.
The company picked up a 49.2 per cent stake in EBR for $25 million in July, after entering into a technology sourcing pact last year.
"We will be launching the new Karizma variants which are redesigned and the engine made more powerful with our partner EBR. This is the first commercial production model in which they have played a big part in development," Munjal said.