Hero MotoCorp Eyes To Expand Electric Vehicle Range
Hero MotoCorp is gearing up to expand its electric two-wheeler range while upgrading its existing sales infrastructure to enhance premium play as part of its future growth plans, according to its newly appointed CEO Niranjan Gupta. Outlining the company's three priorities in the mid-term, he noted that it would focus on bolstering its presence in the premium segment, expanding the commuter segment and achieving leadership in the electric two-wheeler segment.
"The way we are to move forward in these three segments, speed will be the name of the game," Gupta, who was elevated as CEO on May 1, said in an interaction here. He was serving as CFO of the company before taking over as the CEO. In the electric two-wheeler space, the company plans to introduce new entry-level models in order to cater to a wider set of customers.
"Before march-end, we will actually go to 100 cities...so up to March, it will be about 100 cities, and then thereafter, in the next four quarters, it will be about putting a product in the middle segment and the bottom segment of the electric scooters," Gupta noted in an interaction here.
Currently, with the VIDA V1 range, the company is positioned at the top end as a conscious strategic move, he said. Having established the brand, it is now time to expand the product range, Gupta added. Replying to a query, he noted that the EV startup space has got hugely crowded, and given the regulation changes (drop in subsidy under the FAME scheme), there will be consolidation in the segment.
"We believe that there will be consolidation...and when it happens it will narrow down to fewer players," Gupta said. Amid the expected consolidation in the market, the company, with its various tie-ups and product plans in place, is well placed moving ahead, he added.
Besides targeting leadership in the electric two-wheeler space, the company also plans to bolster its presence in the premium segment (160-450 cc), Gupta said. He noted that the current year is going to witness the introduction of the maximum number of all new premium products compared to any other year in the company's history.
"We are doing two things. One, we are going to upgrade some of our current stores to what we call hero 2.0, which will be a facelift of the current stores and therefore that will include the hardware and software part as well this part of the current stores," the chief executive said.
The second element of the physical stores will be to put up some exclusive stores to house premium models. The company plans to upgrade 35-40 per cent of the 1,000 major dealerships in a phased manner, Gupta stated.
"So, a combination of these two will then ensure along with digital...that we provide a different level of retail experience to buyers," he added. Hero MotoCorp will be focusing on the entire premium category, right from 160 to 450 cc, he said.
The company would also focus on expanding the commuter bike segment (100-125 cc). The overall growth of the vertical would eventually help the company as it leads the segment with a market share of 65-70 per cent.
Gupta also emphasised putting "disproportionate" resources into 8-10 international markets to put them on the fast track. "We are in 40 plus markets...and what we are going to do is to double down on 8-10 big markets out of those and disproportionately put resources there and therefore move those on a faster track while catering to the rest of the markets as well," he noted.
The company would focus on markets like Mexico, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Colombia etc, he added. "So, 8-10 of these markets, we are going to double down our efforts," Gupta said. The company currently just gets 5 per cent of its revenues from its global business.