Hero phasing out Honda legacy by 2018 as aggressive strategies for premium segments and smart mobility technology have been planned
The recently appointed Chief Technical Officer of Hero MotoCorp, Markus Braunsperger, the former R&D head at BMW motorcycles with 25 years of experience in senior roles at production and strategy, was interviewed by ET Auto. He commented on the ideas, innovations, product strategies and axing Honda’s legacy from within the company. Talking about the importance of product design, he highlighted the newly launched Achiever 150 iSmart that has no nonsense looks.
And like any other manufacturer in the auto industry, he agrees the vitality of styling as it is the first factor to drive a customer towards purchasing a product. Accepting that having design elements and proportions unique for Hero wouldn’t not occur overnight, he stands convinced that the design processes have to be developed for a brand and product rather than taking inspiration from premium manufacturers.
On the topic of Honda’s presence still existing in terms of technology, he said by 2018 “we will completely phase out Honda legacy”. Highlighting the latest in-house developed Maestro and Duet scooters, Markus stated that for the last five years Hero has been an independent technology company. With market perception taking time to change, the technology currently being used has “no connection with Honda” according to him.
The key aspects of Hero MotoCorp will be to make a mark on “smart mobility”. The aim is to achieve this technology at an affordable cost as the Hero patented i3S idle start-stop fuel-saving system can be taken as an example. With over 65 percent and 55 percent market shares in 100cc and 125cc segments respectively, Hero’s CEO Pawan Munjal earlier expressed his intentions to venture into the premium segments.
Markus Braunsperger conceded on this matter that Hero has been doing well with refreshing the entry-level two-wheelers while the display of Xtreme 200S at the Delhi Auto Expo and subsequent development of products seeking the 160-180cc categories will ultimately pay dividends.
Hero will be entering the Argentinian market in January and the fully-faired HX250 sporty motorcycle is expected to be launched at that time. Coming to the future BSVI emission norms, Hero is working on choosing suppliers and developing technologies that not only comply with the regulations but do hurt the products in terms of affordability.
Source: ET Auto