Hero MotoCorp could be the latest among Indian two-wheeler giants to tie up with a global sportsbike maker. There’s talk of a small capacity, 300cc Ducati sportsbike and Hero MotoCorp is likely to be the local partner that the Italian sportsbike maker is expected to approach. This is because the other leading Indian two wheeler giants such as Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors are already in similar tie-ups.
In this set-up, Hero MotoCorp will bring its low cost, high quality manufacturing set-up to the fore, and the company’s factories in India could serve as a global production hub for the new, 300cc entry level Ducati sportsbike. In exchange, Ducati is likely to provide cutting edge technology and its MotoGP honed engineering expertise for the new motorcycle platform.
As is the case with Bajaj-KTM and TVS-BMW Motorrad, the new 300cc entry level sportsbike platform from Hero Ducati could result in both Hero MotoCorp and Ducati branding, selling and servicing their motorcycles through separate outlets. What we’re likely to see is both Hero and Ducati branded, 300cc premium motorcycles. More details about this tie-up is likely to surface in the coming days.
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest two wheeler maker, even bigger than Honda. However, the two-wheeler giant has been mainly focusing on commuter segments, with little or no presence in the premium bike space. A tie-up with Ducati will open up Hero MotoCorp’s horizons and help it get a foothold in the high margin premium motorcycle space. For Ducati, a tie-up with Hero will open up one of the world’s largest two-wheeler market and also give it very attractive cost savings for motorcycle manufacturing.
KTM has tied up with Bajaj, and produces all of its small capacity sub-400cc bikes such as the Duke 125, 200, 250 and 390 in India. The same is the case with the KTM RC 125, 200, 250 and 390. In exchange, Bajaj has received the engine platform for the Pulsar NS200 and Dominar range of motorcycles. TVS builds the BMW Motorrad G 310R and G 310GS motorcycles in India, and has received technology for use in the Apache RR310. As is evident, such tie-ups are win-win for both parties.