As on date, the Karizma R and the Karizma ZMR are the highest displacement bikes that come out from the production lines of the HMC’s plant. There are no bikes higher than 225cc churning pit from the company. While the 250cc segment in growing in a rapid manner and it is also expected to be the most intense competition facing segment down the line.
In order to face the heat here, HMC is also gearing up for a high displacement bike. However, we are unaware of what will be the engine’s displacement range. Owing to the break up between Hero group and the worlds reputed Honda, the company is forced to look out for a new technological partner. Now, as we all know, HMC has signed a technology-sharing deal with US motorcycle firm Erik Buell Racing (EBR).
HMC holds close to 56 per cent of market share in the sub – continent alone, thereby becoming the leading player in India. It is also the world’s largest producer of two – wheelers in the world. HMS also has plans of marking its presence in many nations outside the Indian borders, just the way Bajaj Auto has been doing in the recent past.
“It’s a very flexible partnership where they will develop cutting-edge technology based on our needs and market demands,” Hero MotoCorp managing director and CEO Pawan Munjal said, adding that the company will first develop bikes bigger than its top-end 225cc Karizma ZMR.
Do you guys remember the HMC Leap, the concept EV that was showcased in the Auto Expo 2012? The Leap is still in my eyes as I saw the unveiling of it live there. Trust me; the design concept was way beyond expectation with a pinch of practicality added to it too. The Leap concept was actually developed by Eric Buell Racing.
“We are already customising technologies for Hero MotoCorp using the frugal Indian engineering expertise that would be available for developing different kinds of two wheelers,” EBR chairman Eric Buell said, adding, “After Leap, we plan to bring in some bikes that would have a global appeal and can be locally manufactured.”
EBR is actually a specialist when it comes to customised superbikes and the team is already working on some of Hero MotoCorp’s products and will develop new bikes and scooters that are likely to hit the market in 2013. Hero does not intend to launch 1,000cc and above superbikes immediately and will gradually move up the value chain. Can you even imagine HMC working on 1000cc bikes? Might sound unbelievable, but still true to the core.
HMC is forecasted to grow at a rate of 10 – 12 per cent over the coming fiscal. Hero, one of leading business names in India, posted its highest quarterly profit at INR 613 crore in the quarter ended December 31. The company, which is reported to have cash reserves of more than INR 4,000 crore, plans to enlarge its R&D set – up at Daruhera into a full-fledged design and engineering centre with EBR’s help and assistance.
“We are open to all options as we move into being a diversified automotive company,” Munjal said.
Apart from all these news, HMC has also announced plans to enter motorcycle racing by sponsoring two teams – Hero and AMSOIL Hero in the AMA Pro Racing National Guard Superbikes Championship in the USA. “As a company to nurture sporting talent, we intend to develop a full-fledged team for racing and would gradually develop teams from India,” Munjal said.