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Can 15 new models, new Karizma bike help mkt leader Hero race ahead further?

The festive season is around the corner and the two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp is gearing up to launch a slew of new models and refreshes to boost its position in the market (currently sells as much as half of total bikes sold in the domestic market), given that its erstwhile Japanese partner Honda has launched an onslaught in recent times.

According to PTI, the company showcased as much as 15 new products at its annual global sales conference in Macau, earlier this month. Some of the new products include a new Splendor and new Karizma motorcycle.

Karizma, Hero’s sole sports bike offering, has not had much success, when one compares it with rival Bajaj Auto’s Pulsar range. Just like Hero’s Splendor has been a run-away success in India’s commuter bike segment, Bajaj’s Pulsar has been the most successful sports bike brand here.

With US-based sports bike maker EBR (Erik Buell Racing) on board, Hero now wants to accelerate in the sports bike territory.

The new Karizma is being redesigned and will sport a more powerful engine, helped by EBR.

There will also be a new Splendor, apparently called Splendor iSmart, according to an Economic Times report.

Motorcycle sales across the sector have been some what slow in the last few months. But monsoon has been good this year and that should prop up rural demand. Splendor, helped by company’s marketing and in lot of cases just word of mouth is a big seller in small towns and villages. So indeed sales during the festive season should be brisk. Although, must remember, Honda with the Dream series and Bajaj with the Discover series too will be upping their game.

Hero will over the next couple of years discontinue its existing and proven Honda technology and shift to its own helped by its partners AVL of Austria and Italy’s Engines Engineering, apart from EBR. Making it work and convincing people that its still the best will be a task, although it has a big brand loyalty.

The new Karizma, it seems will be the first such offering. Lets see if it can, powered by the EBR, gain some traction amid a range of sports bikes that are now available in the country.

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Author:

I am a business journalist by profession and have close watch on equity markets and developments across FMCG, Retail, real estate, auto and information technology sectors in India. When not writing, I am an avid photographer (instagram.com/nachiket.kelkar) and Arsenal FC fan. I also love train spotting.

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