India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp plans some big debuts at the upcoming Auto Expo 2018 and is likely to showcase some premium offerings and new concepts that the company has been working on for a while. Over the past few years, the Indian two-wheeler industry has been seeing a gradual growth in 200cc plus motorcycle range currently the company is absent with no products in this range. Hero MotoCorp has increased its R&D on these high-end products and is now ready to roll them out. A report on Autocar Professional confirms that the company is in the final stages to roll out the production version of naked sportsbike that is powered by a single-cylinder, 300cc engine and is completely performance oriented.
The report further confirms that Hero MotoCorp's new premium motorcycle is derived from the XF3R concept that was first showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo. The company might now showcase the production version of this motorcycle at the Auto Expo 2018. Autocar Professional claims that Hero's XF3R based sportbike is undergoing final stages of testing and will make its India debut during FY 2018-19.
Expect this new Hero MotorCorp's motorcycle to have a big impact in the market and expect the company to be aggressive with its pricing and market positioning. At the market debut, expect this new motorcycle to have undergone many changes from the original XF3R concept. Currently, Hero MotoCorp is the company's flagship premium motorcycle and with the launch of this, the company will also venture into the fast-growing mid-segment which has been showing an exponential growth. This will also mark Hero MotoCorp venturing out of the traditional commuter segment.
Earlier at 2017 EICMA, Hero MotorCorp also showcased the Hero XPulse that will also be one of the show-stopper at the Auto Expo 2018. The Xpulse is very much a real product with a real product strategy, but it could spend some time in the pipeline. Now we suspect that the same 200cc cycle parts from the Xtreme will also be the underlying part of the Xpulse. Made slightly obvious by the shared nomenclature, a sort of Xtreme meets impulse. The Xpulse however, picks up where the impulse left off, with long travel suspension and body panels that show its lineage.
Pawan Munjal, CMD, Hero MotorCorp is very confidemnt that after the company's showcase at the Auto Expo 2018, people will change the way it perceives the company. Hero MotoCorp is focussing on high growth segment and this new 300cc motorcycle will be Hero MotoCorp's big bet.
Hero MotoCorp will also be launching a its another premium motorcycle Hero Xtreme 200 NXT and is likely to be based on the same new platform that will kick start Hero MotoCorp's entry into premium motorcycle segment. Overall, we believe that 200-350 cc motorcycle category is going to see a lot of new motorcycle being launched in India by various manufacturers. With the likes of KTM and Yamaha's already present, TVS Apache range of motorcycles have also constantly seen growth in India. Hero's XF3R based motorcycle will also take on the likes of BMW G 310R and G310 GS which are slated for India launch in 2018.