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Hero Motors joins hands with Aprilia

By Our Staff Reporter

Ivano Beggio, Chairman and Founder, Aprilia (left), with O. P. Munjal, Chairman, Hero Motors, at a press conference, announcing the company's entry into Indian motoscooters market, in New Delhi on November 19. — Photo: Kamal Narang

NEW DELHI NOV. 19. In a major tie-up in the two-wheeler segment, Hero Motors today joined hands with the Europe's second largest two-wheeler maker Aprilia to manufacture `motoscooters' for the Indian market as well as outsource engine components and vehicles to meet the Italian company's requirements.

To begin with, Hero Motors, a part of the Rs. 7,800 crore Hero group, will launch three models in the non-geared segment with the first one hitting the market in the second half of 2004. Initially, the company will launch 75cc, 92cc scooterette (for young female) followed by 125cc motoscooters (for young male and family/utility), to be available at a premium of 10 per cent as compared to other competing models.

"We will offer vehicles which will be best in technology, comfort, style and performance. And for all these features will be charging a premium," said Hero Motors Managing Director, Pankaj Munjal, adding that they would also be implementing latest emission norms besides introducing for the first time in India water-cooled engines for two-wheelers. "We are also conducting a feasibility study to introduce higher segment models from the Aprilia stable in India".

"The company was targeting a 10 per cent share in both 3.5-lakh scooterette market and four lakh un-geared scooter market while about 20-30 per cent of the vehicles manufactured at its new 4.5 lakh units-a-year assembly line will be exported to European and American markets," he informed, adding that they would invest Rs. 135 crores in the next three years.

Informing that Hero Motors would pay royalty per vehicle to Aprilia in turn for its brand name and technical expertise, Mr. Munjal said the partnership, which was for a period of eight years (renewable) with an yearly turnover of about $70 millions, was in the form of a trademark and licensing agreement.

According to the Aprilia Chairman and founder, Ivano Beggio, they had been studying the Indian market for long and the tie-up would help both companies. "We expect to cut our manufacturing cost by 20-30 per cent as compared to that in Europe. The company will also buyback three variants for its customers in Europe and other markets," he added.

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