Hero MotoCorp Story
Hero Motocorp Ltd.(formerly known as Hero Honda) is the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and is based in India. It produces and sells a range of motorcycles and scooters and has a market share of 46% among Indian two-wheelers. The company is promoted by the Munjal brothers and listed on India’s National Stock Exchange(NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE).
Hero Motocorp began its operations in 1984 as a joint venture with Honda Motors, Japan and the company was incorporated as Hero Honda Motors Ltd. Their first product Hero Honda CD100, a fuel efficient bike was launched in 1985. In two years time, they produced 100,000 motorcycles. Very soon they introduced ‘Sleek’, a motorcycle model and in 1991, they produced their 500,000th bike. In 2000, the Splendor Motorcycle became the world’s largest selling two wheeler brand.
Hero and Honda Part Ways
In 2010, the Director Board of Hero Honda decided to terminate the agreement with Honda Motors following differences of opinion. The termination process was to be executed in a phased manner. Hero Group agreed to buy the 26% stake of Honda. Differences of opinion started a few years before the split due to Honda’s refusal to provide technology free despite a 10-year tie-up that was to end only by 2014. Honda also refused to merge the Joint venture firms' spare parts business with Hero Motorcycle and Scooters India Ltd.
Founders and Leadership team
The founder of Hero Group, Dr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal,(1923-2015) was born in Kamalia (now part of Pakistan). He and his family relocated to Ludhiana and set up their first venture called Hero Cycles which made bicycles. By 1975, they became the largest bi-cycle manufacturers in India. They grew by setting up dealer networks through family members and associates. The joint venture with Honda helped them become the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world.
The company is presently headed by Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & CEO. Vikram Kasbekar, Director and Head of Operations; Dr Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer; Mr Ravi Sud, Senior Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer.
Hero Motocorp has a wide range of motorcycles and scooters. Among the motorcycle brands are-Karizma ZMR, Karizma, Xtreme Sports, Xtreme, Hunk, Impulse, Achiever, Ignitor, Glamour, Super Splendor, Splendor PRO, PASSION PRO i3s, HF Deluxe, HF Dawn and scooter brands Pleasure, Duet, and Maestro Edge.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Since its inception, the company has maintained its edge in the market, thanks to its superior technology from Honda and its fuel efficient 4-stroke engines. The popular ad of Hero Honda in the 1980’s, 1990’s was ‘Fill it, Shut it, Forget it’. The company’s efforts to launch customized variations of vehicles with reasonable pricing based on market demand has helped them remain a favorite of consumers.
Hero Group has been active in promoting sports in the country. The company has a 49% stake in Erik Buell Racing that manufactures street and racing motorcycles based in Wisconsin, USA. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and Hero Group acquired some assets for US $2.8 mn.
Hero is active in the promotion of hockey, golf, and cricket among other sports in India and abroad.
Hero MotoCorp has four world-class manufacturing facilities- two in Gurgaon near New Delhi, one in Haridwar in Uttarakhand state, and one in Neemrana, Rajasthan.
Hero Motocorp has grown on the strength of its dealers and service networks across the country. It has 6000 customer touch points comprising of authorized dealerships, service and spare parts outlets, and dealer appointed outlets.
Awards & Achievements
In the past 25 years, it has won several awards and this year too, its products have shown an outstanding performance. Maestro Edge won the Overdrive Scooter of the Year Award, Overdrive Manufacturer of the Year Award, Time India Manufacturing Innovator of the Year award among others.