Withdrawn from India, the Hero Karizma now caters to only the export market
For four months on the trot, sales of the Karizma, which was once one of India’s most popular bikes marketed by Hero MotoCorp, has come to naught, highlighting the repeated struggles faced by the country’s top two-wheeler manufacturer in the premium bike segment.
According to wholesale data released every month, not even one unit of the Karizma has been sold since the start of February. Though no sales would normally result in a phase out of the model, the management said that since the Karizma caters to the export market, it refused to discontinue the same in India.
“Karizma is not discontinued and continues to be a part of our portfolio. At present, we are focusing on the model in our overseas markets,” the company said in an emailed response.
Launched in 2003, the Karizma was the most powerful bike that Hero could offer at that time; a breakaway from its image of the maker of value-for-money, no frills bikes such as the CD100. Karizma became one of the first bikes in India with a fully faired styling and powered by an engine that was more than twice the size, which powered its largest selling bike Splendor.
Despite the 16-year old legacy and numerous associations with youth-centric reality TV shows like Roadies and whose brand ambassador was actor Hrithik Roshan in its earlier years, Hero failed to make the Karizma a success.
The company introduced numerous derivatives during the years, with the last one debuting five years ago with an added moniker ZMR. However, the Karizma remained a fringe player in the premium mass market segment.
Failure of Karizma though did not deter Hero from continuing experiments in the premium segment. In May, the company introduced three products -- Xtreme 200S, XPulse 200 and XPulse 200T -- with a common 200cc engine.Karizma’s rivals, however, have fared much better in comparison. Bajaj Auto has as many as eight models that directly and indirectly compete against the Hero bike under brands such as Pulsar, KTM Duke and Avenger.The Great Diwali Discount!
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