India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp may have a strong presence in the commuter or entry-level motorcycle segment, but in the premium segment, the company is yet to make its presence feel strongly. However, aiming to change the tide, Hero MotoCorp has been increasingly focusing on the premium segment. Its association with the iconic US motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson as well as the relaunch of the Karizma brand are just key parts of that strategy,
On Tuesday, Hero MotoCorp reintroduced the iconic Karizma brand in the form of the Hero Karizma XMR 210, which marks the comeback of one of the most popular sporty motorcycles of all time in the country. Interestingly, the launch of Karizma XMR 210 comes on the heels of the Harley-Davidson X440, which was designed and developed indigenously as part of the joint venture between the two motorcycle giants.
Watch: Hero Karizma XMR 210 launched: First look
The Indian premium motorcycle market has experienced growth in leaps and bounds over the last few years with the influx of new products from various brands. Keeping this fact in mind, Hero MotoCorp too is aiming to grab a sizeable chunk of the segment, where demands have been rising, especially fuelled by the evolving consumer preference from young buyers. However, it’s not going to be a cakewalk for the homegrown two-wheeler brand, as it will have to battle intense competition to win in the segment.
However, the Harley-Davidson X440 and Karizma XMR 210 are not the only milestones of this journey, as Hero MotoCorp is planning to launch several other models in the premium segment. One of them is the brand’s own 440 c motorcycle that will share the engine with the Harley X440. Besides that, the company has its Xtreme and Xpulse range already on offer.
Watch: Harley-Davidson X440 Review: Can it pose royal challenge to Enfield?
Hero MotoCorp’s CEO Niranjan Gupta has said that the company will swiftly expand its presence in the premium segment of motorcycles with engine displacement ranging up to 440 cc. However, he didn’t reveal how many products the brand plans to introduce in the segment. “Launching the Karizma is clearly a part of the premium strategy that we have outlined and launched three premium products in quick succession. Our strategy is to rapidly build a whole portfolio of premium products because you can only win in premium if you have a whole portfolio,” he added.
While speaking about the timeframe for the launch of the upcoming premium motorcycles, Gupta said that those products would come in the coming quarters, reported LiveMint. “We are progressing extremely well in building a portfolio and ensuring each product being launched has some best-in-class and first-in-class features along with prices that act as a sweetener. We are super confident about accelerating this journey in the premium segment,” Gupta said.
Watch: 2023 Hero Xtreme 160R 4V First Ride Review | New Segment Benchmark? | HT Auto
With the launch of the premium products, Hero MotoCorp is eyeing an intense battle against rivals like Royal Enfield, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company, which all are ramping up their respective offerings in the segment. However, Hero is not shying away because of that. Gupta has cleared that the company is investing a large amount of its capital in the development of premium and electric products. “The potential reach in this segment is massive and the volumes will follow. We do have our internal targets with market share but I won’t give out a number. Still, we are focused on getting the right product at the right price and through the right retail experience. Obviously, the numbers will follow. As Hero, we won’t do anything unless we are able to get meaningful market share in the long term,” Gupta added.
First Published Date: 30 Aug 2023, 13:35 PM IST