EV exports will play a crucial role in helping Hero MotoCorp achieve its ambitious global sales target
While the likes of Bajaj and TVS currently dominate export markets, Hero MotoCorp is stepping up focus in this space. The company already has a presence across Latin America, Africa and Asian countries like Nepal and Bangladesh. Hero MotorCorp EVs can be introduced at these locations and newer geographics like Europe as well.
EVs to boost overseas business
According to Hero MotoCorp, its upcoming EVs will power the next phase of growth in overseas markets. Mature markets like Europe will be among the ones that will be targeted. There’s greater awareness about climate change at these locations and growing preference for EVs. Setting up charging and battery swapping infrastructure will also be more convenient in European countries.
By 2025, Hero MotoCorp has plans to generate 15% of its overall sales from overseas markets. The strategy seems similar to Bajaj and TVS, which have been able to establish themselves as global two-wheeler brands.
Export numbers of FY22 have been encouraging for Hero, as growth has zoomed to 57%. As compared to sales of 191,609 units in global markets in FY21, the numbers were at 300,624 units in FY22. This is the highest ever overseas sales numbers for the company.
One of the effective strategies Hero has deployed in overseas markets is to launch products that specifically suit local needs and preferences. For example, there’s Hunter 100 for Nigeria and Hunk 150 for the Middle East. Similarly, Hunk 200 has emerged as a popular choice in Latin American countries. There are also bikes such as Xpulse 200 and Xtreme 160R that have emerged as bestsellers across multiple geographies.
Battery swapping infra push
Hero MotoCorp will be launching its EVs under Vida brand. First Vida EV, which will be an electric scooter, is planned to be unveiled on July 1, 2022. The event marks the birth anniversary of the late Brijmohan Lall Munjal, the original founder of Hero MotoCorp. Vida electric scooter will be manufactured at the company’s production unit in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. Deliveries are expected to commence later in the year.
Aiming to offer something truly unique, Hero MotoCorp will be replicating the Taiwan model in India. EVs with swappable batteries are the most preferred in Taiwan and much of the business is owned and operated by Gogoro. Hero has forged an alliance with Gogoro to develop similar battery swapping infrastructure in India. This collaboration is likely to be utilized for global markets as well.
Gogoro has also played a role in the development of the Vida electric scooter. Much of the work has been carried out at Hero’s in-house R&D centres. Inputs have been sourced from Ather Energy as well. Hero MotoCorp has consistently increased its shareholding in Ather and currently holds 34.8% stake. However, there doesn’t seem to be any plans for a merger. Ather will continue on its journey as a separate EV brand.