Seeing its 27-year-long joint-venture with Honda come to an end last year, Hero MotoCorp has been picking up technology partners with an intense pace. With its 2014 rapidly approaching, Hero already counts Erik Buell Racing as one of its technical partners (as well as a potential acquisition target), and now Hero has now announced that the Austrian engineering design firm AVL will help the Indian company with a new range of larger-dipslacement motorcycle motors.
The move towards larger displacement engines is surely a sign that Hero MotoCorp has its eye on the export market, as it already accounts one of every two motorcycles sold in India. Surely seeing the work that rival Bajaj has done with KTM and the Duke series of motorcycle, we can expect Hero to go after a similar position in Europe, with even larger models for the American market.
“We have tied up with AVL to develop our in-house capabilities in engine technologies,” said Hero MotoCorp Managing Director Pawan Munjal. “A team from our R&D division is already in Austria. Our team is also working in close coordination with AVL India Technical Center based in Gurgaon. The team is working on a few options across motorcycles and scooters.”
“We would be developing engines of all sizes to make new products and also refurbish the existing product lines, Munjal continued. “Gradually we will develop our own full-scale R&D facility to make products for global market on our own. The multiple technology and engineering would leapfrog to the next level even as we internally enhance our R&D to make products for trans-continental markets.”
Hero is rumored to have a target of $1 billion in exports by 2020, which would help cement its status as the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. With India, Southeast Asia, and South America looking to be the growth centers for the motorcycle industry over the next decade, Hero Moto Corp has a significant competitive advantage against other major OEMs, including Honda.