Hero MotoCorp plans big-bang entry into EVs. All you want to know
Ola, Bajaj and TVS Motors could soon have some serious competition when it comes to the e-mobility space.
Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest two-wheeler producer, which entered the electric scooter space earlier in October, has electric motorcycles, B2B vehicles and even autonomous vehicles in its sights over the mid to long-term time frame, according to a report in The Financial Express newspaper.
On October 7, the Pawan Munjal-led company launched an electric scooter under a new brand called Vida in the premium category with prices starting at Rs 1.45 lakh. The company will have multiple variants and modularity options with the Vida V1, the report said.
But why is this significant?
Being India’s largest two wheeler manufacturer, Hero Motocorp could pose a serious challenge to the likes of Ola and Bajaj Auto that are also competing in this market. The market is increasingly looking very crowded, as these established players jostle for space along with the likes of Ather, which seems to be losing its early mover’s advantage as big money begins to flow into this space. Little wonder then that Ather has joined forces with Hero.
What has Hero said officially about its plans for the EV market?
“High performance electric motorcycles, B2B (business-to-business) vehicles, multiple form factors across electric mobility, advanced driver assistance and autonomous vehicles” are a part of Hero MotoCorp’s plans, according to a disclosure made by the company.
What does the company plan to do on the services front?
According to the FE report, on the services front, Hero MotoCorp plans to offer differentiated offerings like mobility as a service (MaaS) and battery as a service (BaaS) in addition to forward integration into insurance and warranty. Remote diagnostics, door-step assistance and bundled subscription plans are slated to be offered with the Vida V1.
How does Hero plan to ramp up sales?
With the Vida, Hero is starting with limited numbers in three cities – Delhi, Bengaluru and Jaipur – before adding eight more this year. Deliveries of the V1 will start from December. The next financial year will see expansion to further markets as well as commencement of exports, the report said.
What partnerships has Hero struck so far?
Hero has so far joined hands with three entities – Ather, Gogoro and Zero.
How is Hero ramping up capacity?
According to the FE report, the company has beefed up manpower under its newly formed Emerging Mobility Business Unit (EMBU) with the appointment of several executives at the senior level within the last one year.
Swadesh Srivastava, former senior engineer at Apple and later a senior consultant at Ola Electric Mobility, was appointed the head of Hero’s EMBU. Other appointments at EMBU such as Shekhar Mishra, Kuldeep Bhayana and Varun Shahani are individuals who have worked with Tata Motors, Coca-Cola, Ather and Goldman Sachs to name a few.
But how far behind the curve is Hero so far?
Hero MotoCorp’s entry into the electric two-wheeler space trails Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company. With the exception of Honda, Hero is the last of the large volume two-wheeler companies to foray into this space.
But is this the first time Hero is going in for a major product diversification?
Not really. Product diversification plans of Hero MotoCorp are not new. The company had earlier spoken about plans to get into electric three-wheelers and four-wheelers. It had also showcased a diesel and a petrol-hybrid two-wheeler a few years ago.
And what do analysts have to say about the company’s plans?
According to the FE report, analysts have expressed apprehension over the premium positioning adopted by Hero with the Vida V1, considering that half of its sales come from rural geographies.
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