Hero Motorcycles appoints senior BMW designer as R&D Head
Braunsperger, 51, has been with BMW for the past 25 years heading BMW R&D. He has been instrumental in the designs of BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series besides their X3 and X5 SUVs. Besides being actively involved in the four wheeler segment of the company, Braunsperger has also headed R&D at the company’s two wheeler division – BMW Motorrad.
Braunsperger assumes his new office at Hero MotoCorp in October and will be the first expat to be appointed to head a division in the company. Braunsperger will be based at the company’s R&D Center in Jaipur, coming up at an investment of INR 500 crores which should be ready by next fiscal.
As head of Hero MotoCorp R&D facilities, Braunsperger will be reporting to Pawan Munjal, Vice Chairman of the company and will be instrumental in the development of new models that the company has in the offing both for domestic and international markets.
Braunsperger’s appointment comes following the appointment of Markus Feichtner from Austrian firm AVL who is in charge of Engine Design & Development at Hero MotoCorp. Recently, Hero also developed three new engines in the 100cc, 110cc and 250cc category which will be seen on the company’s upcoming products. The 250cc engine will be fitted on the new Hero HX250R while the 100cc and 110cc engine promise elevated levels of fuel efficiency and enhanced performance to make their way into a new range of commuter bikes being planned by Hero MotoCorp.
Top BMW designer joins Hero MotorCorp
Hero MotoCorp has appointed hot-shot automobile designer Dr. Markus Braunsperger from BMW, Germany as the Head of its R&D division.
A die-hard bike racer, Markus held numerous senior roles in R&D, production and strategy and headed the entire R&D function for BMW Motorcycles for several years.
Significantly, he was also responsible for project management for BMW’s key product lines such as the 5/6/7 series as well as X3, X5 and X7 models.
Braunsperger has been hand-picked by Hero Vice Chairman Pawan Munjal and will report into him. Munjal was also instrumental in hiring Markus Feichtner last year from the globally-renowned engine specialists, Austrian firm AVL to lead the “Engine Design & Development” division within Hero’s R&D function.
Braunsperger will join Hero in the first week of October and will take complete charge of the company’s design and development of new products. He is expected to bring a lot of synergy between all of Hero’s technology partners – Erik Buell Racing (EBR) of the US, Engines Engineering of Italy and AVL of Austria.
Hero, which holds 49.2 per cent stake in EBR, will be launching the first of its completely new products – the HX 250R and the hybrid scooter Leap in the second half of this financial year, and Markus is expected to keep up the momentum charting out the future line-up of new products.
He will lead the 500-strong team of engineers at Hero’s R&D function. The market leader also last year brought in.
This team is going to be based out of the upcoming “Hero Centre for Global Innovation and Research & Design” at Kukas near Jaipur.
Hero has already developed three new engines to be fitted into its new products – 100cc, 110cc and 250cc engines. The 250cc engine will come in the form of the new Hero HX250R, expected to hit Indian roads in the second half of this fiscal. The 100cc and 110cc engines –with higher fuel efficiency and better overall performance – are likely to be fitted in the new commuter range of bikes that Hero is planning to launch.