Aiming For Dominant Position In Electric Bicycle Segment In Europe: Hero Cycles
The country's largest bicycle maker Hero Cycles aims to be a dominant player in the "predictable" European electric bicycle market which is currently pegged at around 7 billion euros (over Rs 56,000 crore), a top company official said.
The company has acquired a 48 percent stake in Germany-based firm HNF Nicolai last month and expects the entity to accrue 100 million euro per annum going ahead.
"The Europe market is big and growing. The market there is very predictable. HNF is the entry point as we have gone from India to Germany. In the future we may also cater to other countries from there (Germany)," Hero Motors Company Chairman Pankaj M Munjal told PTI.
The company is set to dominate the market having finally established a base in Germany, he added.
"We are in the process of making plans for the market. We are aiming for EUR 100 million business from HNF alone," Munjal said.
Hero Cycles' current turnover stands at around Rs 3,500 crore.
He said that the company is looking for further acquisitions, partnerships in the region as part of its expansion plans.
"We are now looking to invest in Europe. We are looking and searching for more and more partnerships in the components space as well as on the supplier side," Munjal said.
The company plans to manufacture electric bicycles in India and then utilise HNF plant in Germany for final assembly of units.
"Hero Motors will make e-bicycles and then sell it to HNF. Initial assembly of parts would happen in India and the final assembly in Germany. We will benefit from low-cost manufacturing here and in seven days deliver goods there," Munjal said.
HNF is making high-end e-bikes in Germany for the last five-seven years.
"We will have their (HNF) design, their capabilities with benefits of Indian cost structure," Munjal said.
Commenting on the domestic market, he added the company is focussing on e-cargo segment.
When asked about challenges in the electric-vehicle segment, Munjal said the government should have included electric bicycles under the FAME II scheme as that would have helped the segment grow in the country.
"Secondly, there should be safety on roads. Europe has become such a big market because it is safe to ride bicycles there," he added.
Munjal said that e-bicycle segment in India is miniscule right now, but has the potential to grow to Rs 7,000-crore industry in the next few years.
The company's e-bicycle sales in the domestic market were hovering around 2,500 units a month currently, he added.