Almost two years after breaking up with Honda and with the erstwhile Japanese partner now fast and furiously on its trail, Hero MotoCorp is pulling out all stops towards unveiling its first indigenously-developed motorcycle - an all-new 250cc sports bike - at the next Auto Expo in 2014.
The motorcycle is being developed in collaboration with Hero Moto's American technology partner Erik Buell Racing (EBR), two persons involved with this closely-guarded project who did not want to be named told ET.
One of those persons added: "Hero is determined to showcase to the world its capability and competence in bringing world-class products with superior technology on its own in quick time. It is currently working on several models ranging from low-engine displacement to higher-powered motorcycles and scooters. However, the first bike on a new platform to hit the market will be a 250cc motorcycle."
A group of young and highly-skilled engineers from Hero Moto's R&D centres in Gurgaon and Dharuhera have been stationed at the EBR centre at East Troy in Wisconsin, US for the past several months, and are working very closely with EBR engineers on this project, the persons close to the project said. The high-powered 250cc bike with cutting-edge technology and next-generation styling has been jointly conceptualized, designed and developed by Hero and EBR engineers.
"While the initial development is being done at the EBR centre, the complete development and manufacturing of the bike will be done at Hero's plants in India," said a source.
Hero MD & CEO Pawan Munjal is personally monitoring the progress of the project. The company has set a deadline of the Auto Expo to be held in Greater Noida in February 2014 to showcase the bike, with mass production likely to commence later during that year.
"This bike is being developed for the domestic market as well as for customers in global markets that Hero Moto plans to enter as part of its ambitious international business plan," said one of the persons close to the project.
ET could not reach Munjal for his comment as he was travelling overseas. A Hero MotoCorp spokesperson declined to comment on the development plans. In response to a questionnaire e-mailed to him, he said: "We do not wish to comment on speculations regarding our future line-up of products. We have already stated in recent past that we will be launching our own products in calendar year 2013. We shall be in a position to talk about specific models closer to the time of their launch."
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