World number one two-wheeler company, Hero Honda today officially becomes Hero MotoCorp Ltd., formally renamed after obtaining a nod from the Indian RoC, Registrar of Companies.
The words of genial MotoCorp Chairman Dr Brijmohan Lall say it all, “Today is a historic day. It is not just a change of name; it marks the ushering in of a new era that will unlock the immense potential of this company to build its own capabilities to grow beyond boundaries and set new benchmarks.”
While Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Pawan Munjal gives us further insight with a hint of things to come from his statement, “The change in name is the first big step towards further strengthening the company’s leadership in the two-wheeler industry. It marks the beginning of a new era of innovations – be it in the field of technology and product development or customer satisfaction.”
Hero Honda consistently sells an incredible 500,000 odd two-wheelers across India every month. And Hero MotoCorp Ltd. hopes they can sustain and grow this, leveraging their existing infrastructure of a mammoth dealer network spread across the length and breadth of India, drawing upon the solid legacy of Hero Honda, a company that blazed a red hot success trail to maintain the coveted World No.1 two-wheeler status for the entire decade, starting 2001.
Looking ahead, ushering in new technology despite the exit of Japanese giant Honda from this super successful joint venture and selecting the right models to bring to our unique market holds the keys to Hero MotoCorp’s future as a two-wheeler maker.
Things seem on track, as seen from Autocar India reader Prateek Khandelwal from Haldwani’s (Uttarakhand) spy pic here. The camouflaged motorcycle fits in as one of Hero MotoCorp’s first, exciting motorcycles. A sign of things to come, the new bike shows us the fresh face of Hero, as they tread a bold new path, entering the hot and relatively unexplored on-off road motorcycle segment in India, we’ve often longed to see filled.
An apt motorcycle for Indian roads that remain in terrible condition round the year, Hero MotoCorp’s first on-off road bike sits tall on long travel telescopic front suspension, with a monoshock rear suspension and spoke wheels, as commonly associated with such rugged, go anywhere motorcycles.
This Hero is built tough, with massive body panels including a high floating front mudguard, and large overhangs extending ahead of its big, high set fuel tank. Instrumentation appears digital and trendy from the little seen in this picture.
A four-stroke, single-cylinder and air-cooled engine should displace in the region of 150cc - 200cc, with its silencer and heat shield running the entire right length of this bike just under its seat. We expect to see a five-speed gearbox, with a wide powerband tuned for strong low and mid range performance, while an exposed chain drive system is evident.
The new bike has a tubular steel frame that includes a single downtube running from the beefy steering column to link to twin tubes under the engine, meeting in a swingarm pivot which extends backwards as a twin sided, steel box section member.
The new Hero MotoCorp sports a single front disc, rear drum brakes configuration and you can’t miss generous ground clearance, with the rear brake lever extending downwards into position ahead of the right footrest, and drum brake operating lever located higher than on conventional Indian motorcycles.
We could be mistaken here, but Prateek’s picture suggests some nominal luggage carrying facility above the rear tail-light cluster.
Wolff Olins of the Omnicom group has assisted Hero MotoCorp don their fresh brand identity, while Law & Kenneth is the company’s creative partner.
Hero MotoCorp’s new on-off road motorcycle has been spotted again, this time by Autocar India reader Suresh Jethwani as the motorcycles are ridden on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, near Daruhera, close to the original Hero Honda motherplant.
Stay with us while we join Hero MotoCorp Ltd. on their historical journey, when they peel back the curtain on their future strategy in style at a mega event on August 9, 2011, in London, UK.