labels: hero cycles, marketing - general, automotive
Hero Group announces joint venture with UK''s Ultra Motor, launches two new electric scooters news
10 October 2007
New Delhi: Hero Exports Private Limited (HEPL), an affiliate of Hero Cycles Ltd. (HCL), which is part of the $3- billion Hero Group, has entered into a Joint Venture with Ultra Motor Company (UMC), a Global Electric Vehicle company based in UK.

The new venture, to be called Hero Ultra Private Limited, will have equal shareholding by the two companies.

>Under the aegis of the new venture, Hero Cycles has launched two new models ''Velociti'', an electric scooter with extra speed, and ''Optima''- an electric scooter with extra range priced between Rs29,000 and Rs34,000. The existing range of the company''s seven ''Hero Electric Ultra Powered'' two wheelers is priced between Rs14,400 and Rs27,900.

>Earlier in October 2006, Hero Cycles Limited had signed a technical collaboration-cum-joint marketing agreement with Ultra Motor Company, to produce and jointly market the current range of ''Hero Electric Ultra Powered'' electric two wheelers in India.

>Based on their marketing experience during the last six months both the companies aggressively rolled out 57 joint dealerships across north and west India. The company''s range of electric two wheelers is currently available in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, West UP, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and the National Capital Region of Delhi.

>The company plans to expand its dealer network in the west and south to reach around 150 dealers this fiscal.

"Hero Cycles and Ultra Motor have shared a strong partnership under the technical collaboration-cum-joint marketing agreement and this joint venture is a natural extension of that relationship," said Vijay Munjal, managing director, Hero Cycles Limited. "Both the companies have worked seamlessly in creating a market for electric two wheelers in India. Going forward, we will put in the necessary resources to make ''Hero Ultra'' a bigger success."

>In the ''90s Hero Group had tied up with Honda Motor Company, to launch 100cc, fuel-efficient two wheelers under the brand Hero Honda, a success the company hopes to replicate with electric two-wheelers.

>Ian Woodcock, chairman, Ultra Motor Company, UK, said, "So far the ''Hero Electric'' brand has offered the consumer uncompromising credibility and reliability while the ''Ultra Powered'' technology was the differentiator from others. Efficiencies of both the companies in marketing and manufacturing respectively, proved to be a strong catalyst for sales. With the formation of ''Hero Ultra'', we will continue to innovate and grow with our current and future customers."

>Velociti and Optima strengthen the Hero - Ultra offering
Velociti is based on the patented ''impulse inertia technology'' that gives it a higher speed of 40 km per hour and a better torque to help scale gradients. It comes with a powerful motor of 500 watts that delivers a peak motor output of 1000 watts and a range of 50km per charge, under standard test conditions. Velociti has a powerful 48V/ 24 AH Sealed Lead Acid battery, hydraulic disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear wheel, and is supported by the telescopic suspension system.

Priced at Rs34,000 (ex-showroom Delhi) Velociti will be available across select showrooms in North, West and South India initially. Targeted largely at the 28 year plus, evolved commuter, Velociti will be available in two colour options - silver and burgundy.

Optima is a new addition to the already existing range of seven models of basic electric scooters from Hero Ultra. The largest selling model Maxi, rated as the Best Electric Two Wheeler by Bike India, a leading two-wheeler magazine, contributes to about 80 per cent of the sales for the company. Hence keeping in mind the same performance parameters and to give a new variant to the consumer ''Optima'' has been launched with new looks and design. The ''Optima'' delivers a range of 70 km per charge and a maximum speed of 25km per hour.

>Though electric vehicles are a totally new category in India, the industry has witnessed a lot of activity in the last 15 months. According to a 2006 survey conducted by AC Neilsen, the category potential of electric vehicles for 2007-08 is approximately 190,000 units and is projected to grow to 490,000 units in 2008-09.

>Besides the two leading manufacturers many local and regional brands are available across the north, west and south India, with a consolidation likely to lead to the emergence of four or five major brands.

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Hero Group announces joint venture with UK''s Ultra Motor, launches two new electric scooters