In December 2010, Hero and Honda split a 26 year old partnership.A partnership which also earned Hero the title of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. And ever since the two companies have parted ways, Hero has been on the prowl for a technology partner. Now after a little over a year Hero has entered into a technical collaboration with Erik Buell Racing. Founder Erik Buell has been associated with Harley Davidson in the past and as of now produces dedicated race machines for the AMA Pro road racing championship.
The technical collaboration should result in Hero entering the high performance arena where the company has had no experience in the past.”It’s a very flexible partnership where they will develop cutting-edge technology based on our needs and market demands” said Pawan Munjal the MD and CEO at Hero Motocorp. On the R&D front the two companies have been working closely to develop a hybrid scooter ‘Leap’ which was showcased at the Auto Expo this year.
The company also stated the entry into motorsports. Hero will be sponsoring two teams in the AMA Pro road racing championship-Team Hero and AMSOIL Hero. Not only does this mean monetary benefits for the company, but also creates newer avenues for motorsports in India. If not right now at least in the future.
And that’s not all at Hero. For the past year, Investindustrial SpA, a Milan based private equity firm which owns Ducati has listed the company on the HongKong stock exchange for as much as 1 billion Euros. The prospective buyers so far range right from, BMW, Volkswagen, Merc all the way up to Mahindra & Mahindra. However the latest contender was Hero whom we know to carry around the $1 billion is cash reserves. This puts Hero in a position of benefit which is available for a select few. On a very mysterious note the company said, “Lots of people have been coming to us with Ducati: Not one banker but many bankers,” Hero MotoCorp Managing Director Pawan Munjal said to Bloomberg News. “We’re talking to a lot of people. Not just Ducati, whoever comes to us, we talk to them.”
The alliance could prove the most beneficial decision ever, because before the company loses the licensing rights from Honda in 2014, Hero will have a fully functional R&D very much in place. If the Bajaj’s 39% stake in KTM could result in something as amazing the KTM 200 Duke, we would be more than pleased to see the results of a Hero Ducati acquisition!