Hero's welcome - Indian motorcycle manufacturer sets sights on European market

Hero concept bike
Hero concept bike

Indian low-capacity motorcycle specialists, Hero MotoCorp, have confirmed an expansion into Europe for 2024 alongside well-established MotoGB as their distribution partners.

“We’ve got the manufacturing base already. We got volume. We’ve teid up with distributors here and there’s a customer need gap,” Hero CEO Niranjan Gupta exclusively told MCN.

The Delhi firm have been building bikes since 1985, delivering more than 110 million machines to customers in over 40 countries already. They’ve also worked with Harley-Davidson to develop the 440cc single cylinder X440 cruiser, to help the American brand break into more emerging markets.

Hero Vida scooter

The first of their machines to enter the UK will be the electric Vida V1 Pro, which promises a claimed 68-mile real world range, and a 0-80% recharge time of around 65 minutes from its two 1.97kWh removable batteries.

Other features also include a colour TFT dash with mobile connectivity, plus space under the seat to hold 26-litres of luggage.

Although already selling into a number of large markets including India, the company boss believes the more affluent nature of a European market will allow them to experiment with more innovative motorcycle features, without risking the business.

Niranjan Gupta with scooter

“It also allows us to experiment with products with more features, simply because the developed markets like Europe, and the UK, will have customers with a better ability to pay,” Niranjan Gupta continued.

“Now, when they have a better ability to pay then you can experiment with more bold and innovative features and see how these features are received.

“So, they will also become markets where we can try out some of this kind of stuff where we know that in the Asian markets there will be very few takers if it becomes too expensive.”

Niranjan Gupta speaking

Bikes are set to be distributed across the UK by MotoGB, with the first batch expected to arrive between April and May 2024. The Chorley company already deal with the likes of Sym, Benelli, Keeway, Voge, Lambretta, Italjet, and more and say they will select at least 50 dealers within their network to push the new brand.

“This is why we are tying up with those distributors who already have a wide reach,” Gupta added. “If you were to ask me: ‘Will Hero come in and open new dealerships?’ then it would be a tough thing because you can open, but then the customer requires availability of all these parts.”

He added: “Which is why we’ve been very cautious that the distributors that we are selecting are the ones who’ve got multiple dealerships who have the ability to service customers across the country. That’s an essential part of any auto business.”

Hero Concept bike on stand

Alongside established contacts in the UK, Hero also feel that increased restrictions on transport within cities, such as London’s Ultra Low Emmision Zone (ULEZ) will help bolster their sales. Exactly when bikes will arrive though remains to be seen.

Visit heromotocorp.com for more.