India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp on Tuesday said it plans to invest up to Rs 10,000 crore in the next 5-7 years towards new products, alternate mobility solutions, manufacturing facilities, network expansion and brand building as it aims to hold on to its market leadership position in India and strengthen its presence overseas.
The investment would also include the company's foray into electric vehicles, an area where it is seen as a laggard. Arch rivals Bajaj Auto and TVS recently launched their first electric two-wheelers in the market earlier this year. Hero said it is aiming to become a carbon neutral company by 2030 and would also be making suitable investments in its facilities towards that.
"We have been world's largest two wheeler manufacturer for 19 years now which is no mean feat. Getting to the top is difficult but staying there is even more difficult and we intend to remain at the top," said Pawan Munjal, chairman and managing director, Hero MotoCorp.
"The world is passing through a very dynamic environment. With unprecedented democratization of technology, constant innovation and disruption has become the order of the day rather than exception. The global mobility space, therefore, is undergoing rapid transformation due to multiple factors, including the emergence of tech-based aggregators and ride share start-ups and regulatory changes. Changing times call for a change in structure. So, to address the new, emerging trends, we have created a separate vertical - the emerging mobility business unit that is working on a range of mobility solutions for the future," said Munjal.
"As a company, we have been working on a series of future mobility platforms in innovative formats. We feel this is absolutely the right time for us to shift gears, to be able to not just evolve with the changing times, but also drive the change and stay ahead of the curve," he added.
After its separation from erstwhile partner Honda Motor Corp in 2010, the company has invested $600 million towards beefing up its research and development unit including setting up a state of the art facility in Kukas near Jaipur, and another $1 billion towards products and new factories across the globe. It has increased its presence globally from 4 to 40 countries in the process and increased the number of factories in India from three in 2011 to 6 in 2020. Its ninth facility in Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh has also come up recently with production expected to commence shortly. It has also opened up two factories outside India -- one each in Bangladesh and Colombia in Latin America.
"We have transformed ourself from being just an Indian company to a multinational firm. Our employee pool today comprises of people from 10 nationalities," Munjal said.
The company also launched the BS VI compliant versions of its commuter motorcycles Passion Pro and Glamour. It also re-entered the 150cc segment with a new bike Xtreme 160R, which would go on sale from next month. In this fiscal so far, Hero has registered a 16 percent decline in sales in the domestic market.