Hero MotoCorp Pens Strategic Alliance with EBR

Hero MotoCorp has announced a strategic alliance with Erik Buell Racing (EBR), USA, under which the two companies will work together on a multi-strategy agenda that straddles new product development, R&D initiatives as well as motorsport!


Hero MotoCorp Pens Strategic Alliance with EBR



Ever since the Hero and Honda went their separate ways, the industry has been waiting to see just how the Munjal led and newly christened Hero MotoCorp would find its footing in the two wheeler market both in India and abroad. While the agenda to be a global company has been established in numerous speeches by the group bosses, it is only now that the company has taken its first steps towards stepping out of the Honda shadow and look towards the west for new alliances.

It was well known that Hero MotoCorp would need an alliance on the R&D front to move forward. The present line up of products are still Honda derived machines, including the first launch from Hero MotoCorp, namely the Impulse. While the company had goodwill equity and a pretty large pocket, the need was clear for all to see and this has culminated in the alliance with Erik Buell Racing (EBR), a boutique American brand.

The strategic alliance with EBR has been termed as a multi level strategy. The first agenda being the fact that EBR will work closely with Hero MotoCorp technicians to develop motorcycles for Hero MotoCorp. At present the line up that EBR and Hero MotoCorp will work on has not been detailed, however Pawan Munjal, MD and CEO, Hero MotoCorp, did state that these bikes will focus on the youth and include the development of high performance bikes as well. The idea is to develop a product portfolio that will allow Hero MotoCorp make the leap into the big league and have a wide variety of products that cater to both the Indian and international markets. Pawan Munjal also made it very clear that this alliance will also help Hero MotoCorp scale up its R&D initiatives in a big way and that EBR has already commenced work on a number of bikes which will be revealed in the near future. Incidentally, Hero MotoCorp is also developing the concept hybrid scooter called ‘Leap’, showcased at the recently-concluded Auto Expo, in collaboration with EBR. 




Hero MotoCorp Pens Strategic Alliance with EBR


The other aspect of this alliance lies in the realm of motorsport. The venture will see Hero MotoCorp foray into the world of two-wheeler racing for the first time by sponsoring two dedicated racing outfits, ‘Team Hero’ and ‘AMSOIL Hero’ in the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship with Danny Eslick and Geoff May piloting two EBR 1190RS superbikes for the two teams, respectively. The first race is scheduled at the Daytona Speedway, at Daytona beach, Florida, USA between March 15th & 17th, this year. While this is a small step in the direction of motorsport, Pawan Munjal also pointed out that the company is looking at this segment with keen interest and is also working on a program to help recruit Indian racing talent as well. He didn’t divulge any immediate plans on becoming a part of MotoGP, however Mr. Munjal did say that the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship is just the beginning.

With the two wheeler market in India evolving at a rapid pace and just about every major motorcycle manufacturer across the globe looking at their piece of the pie, the scope that the market offers is at its lucrative best. With a steady market developing for faster and bigger bikes, the time to act is now and Hero MotoCorp knows this only too well. They have been market leaders and while their commuter segment motorcycles continue to bring in the numbers it is essential that the company evolves with what the market demands. No doubt, the EBR alliance will assist on this front, it still remains to be seen just how Hero MotoCorp shapes up their arsenal to take on the market of the future, especially with rival Bajaj having a set and distinct game plan to move forward with multiple brands in its portfolio.