Hero hopes to grab a slice of the premium pie with new launches

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on September 18, 2018 Published on September 17, 2018

Hero MotoCorp Ltd is readying its entry into two new segments in a bid to garner sales and market share, and, more specifically, to change the perception of the brand in the market.

The company has started retail sales of its new 200-cc bike — the Xtreme 200R — and will roll out two new models in the 125cc range of scooters before the festive season. Hero had said the launches would help the company build its premium portfolio in the growing 125cc scooter segment.

Hero has been a strong commuter bike brand, and has managed to remain unbeaten by the competition over the years. In the 75-110-cc bike segment, 36.67 lakh units were sold during April-August, Of this, Hero’s sales alone were 27.02 lakh units. It has maintained a market share of 74-75 per cent in the category.

The company now intends to change its image and also prove its technical capabilities by offering successful products in the premium bike segment.

Currently, Hero does not have any offerings in the above-150-cc bike segment, where domestic rivals TVS Motor and Bajaj have reaped success. TVS Motor, in fact, has captured the pole position in the above-150-cc to 200-cc segment with its Apache series of bikes.

Hero will also introduce two new models in the 125cc scooter segment — the Maestro Edge and the Duet 125cc — which accounts for about a fifth of the scooter market and has a growth rate of more than 50 per cent. These scooters come with more power and riding features. Almost all players, but Hero, are present in the slab.

The lack of new models, and its absence in the 125-cc segment, saw Hero lose its No 2 status in the scooter segment early last year. TVS has since managed to widen the gap with Hero, whose market share in the segment has fallen to 10 per cent in the first five months of this fiscal, from 12 per cent a year ago. TVS’ scooter share is 16 per cent, up from 15 per cent a year ago.

Published on September 17, 2018
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