The first of the two new launches will hit the market on October 22
Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, is gearing up to roll out at least two new 125cc scooters in the domestic market over the next two months.
The first one will hit showrooms of a chosen cluster next week and the second will perhaps debut in December, a senior company executive told analysts after announcing the second quarter results on October 16.
Though company officials did not elaborate on the models, industry sources said the two new launches will be Duet 125 and Maestro 125.
Going against the industry norm of choosing a pan-India launch, the Delhi-based company has decided to play it safe with the launches. The first scooter will be launched only in one market to begin with and gradually be expanded to other pockets over the next 2-3 weeks.
This move, the company hopes, will give it enough time to ramp-up production at the factory to keep it in line with the initial burst in demand from dealers as is usual with new launches.
Previously, Hero failed to ramp-up production of the Maestro scooter in time, despite there being healthy demand for the gearless model. Due to that, it dropped to the third spot in the scooter category, having been overtaken by TVS Motor Company, which was helped by its bestseller Jupiter.
“We are going ahead with the launches of the two 125cc. We would be launching them in phased manner over a period of 15-20 days, starting October 22. We don’t want to risk quantities. We would rather go and fill up one market and satisfy that market before moving on to other markets. Production ramp-up takes time and we don’t want our dealers to face demand challenges,” the senior executive said.
With the twin launches, Hero will debut in the 125cc scooter segment which has seen a surge of interest from all players. Nearly every company has at least two products in the 125cc scooter category.
Honda has two products – Grazia and Activa – with 125cc engines. Earlier this year, TVS launched NTorq 125, which was followed by Suzuki launching the Burgman Street. Piaggio launched Aprilia SR 125 in February.“We would like the first model to settle down in the market before launching the next one. This process should be given time in terms of marketing and communication. That's why the second model can only come a month after the first one is launched,” the executive stated.