India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp (HMCL), has started producing the 110cc Dash scooter model at its facility in Gurgaon, three sources associated with the development told Autocar Professional.
According to the specifications revealed by the company at the 2014 Auto Expo where the Dash scooter was first unveiled, the upcoming model will be powered by a new four-stroke, force-air-cooled, single-cylinder, 111cc petrol engine, which will generate a maximum power output of 8.5bhp. Meanwhile, in comparison to this, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India’s best-selling model, the 109.2cc Activa (Hero Dash's rival when it goes on sale) generates a maximum power output of 8bhp.
Hero is taking the competition further by giving the Dash several new features (as expected) that haven't been offered on models in this segment for years. This includes telescopic front forks, rear monoshock, convenient tail-mounted fuel lid, side-stand indicator, service reminder indicator, USB mobile charger, key with e-code, boot light, LED tail-light, and dual-tone mirrors.
According to a source, who requested anonymity, HMCL was initially rolling out close to 1,400 units of Maestro scooters per day from its Gurgaon plant last year. However, this was later stopped to make way for the first batch of the new Dash.
“The company has been performing final road tests of the Dash model, and is now aiming to build a sizable inventory of 30,000-35,000 units before it commercially launches the same in the market. This is expected to happen very soon now,” disclosed another source.
Going forward, it seems that Hero will have two 110cc scooter models (Maestro and Dash) to gain traction in this sub-segment against the market leader – the Honda Activa. It is to be noted that the Maestro is one of the three production models (other two being Passion XPro and Ignitor motorcycles) on which Hero pays royalty to Honda. This was recently extended to June 2017. “As per the extended royalty agreement with Honda, Hero will pay royalty to Honda till June 2017 or as long as they continue to manufacture the Passion XPro, Maestro and Ignitor, whichever is earlier,” clarified another source aware of the terms between the two companies.