CHANDAN BASU MALLIK, Kolkata: The double whammy of a nationwide lockdown and transition from BS IV to BS VI has given time to automakers and 2-wheeler manufacturers to rework their business strategies.
Hero Motorcorp’s performance year-on-year has been impacted like everyone else. They sold 3,34,647 units in March 2020 as against 5,81,279 units in the corresponding month last year, thus registering a 42.2% fall.
Besides fall in unit sales, the bigger problem that the company has to solve is related to unsold BS IV stocks lying at the retailer end. To that respect, there’s some relief as the company has assured their dealers that the company will absorb all the unsold BS IV stock.
While, the financial implication is not known for this exercise, market experts say there will be efforts to export as many units to countries that are not so stringent. Some machines may be cannibalised and sold as spares and leftovers perhaps scrapped.
It is accepted that given the task that it will cost the company and impact its bottomlines. At the same time, to sustain operations, the company will have to depend on models that sell well.
Right now, it seems the plan has been activated as some models like the Xpulse 200T, Xtreme 200R, 200S are not on the Hero website anymore.
In place, a smaller displacement model, Xtreme 160R has been added on the website ahead of launch. The model was unveiled at the Hero World 2020 event held at the brand’s R&D facility in Jaipur.The upcoming BS VI-compliant Xtreme 160R gets a 160cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine good for 15bhp and 14Nm and is claimed to be the fastest motorcycle in its class.
Some dealers will try to offload the discontinued BS IV ‘X’ products before the extended by 10-day deadline.
All the the three X models share the same power plant and its the body styles and cosmetics that determine the line-up. The Xtreme 200R was presented as an aggressive streetfighter, while the 200S faired version as a sporty commuter machine. The Xpulse 200T was a touring-focused commuter while the Xpulse 200 was designed as dual on/off-roader.
Common to all was the 199.6cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine with 18.1bhp and 17.1Nm of torque mated to 5-speed gearbox.