The global trend in the two-wheeler industry is now shifting towards smaller displacement bikes. Many premium makers are on the receiving end of this change and have now started focussing on sub 500cc bikes.
BMW Motorrad was the first one to embrace the shift and forged alliance with TVS Motor Company while Triumph Motorcycle and Bajaj Auto forged an alliance last year. The latest to join is reported o be Italian premium bike maker Ducati and Indian mass-market brand Hero MotoCorp.
Among the prominent Indian two-wheeler makers, Hero MotoCorp is the only one left without a major tie-up with a western two-wheeler brand and hence, Ducati will be forging an alliance with them.
The Ducati and Hero alliance is expected to run in line with the BMW and TVS business model. The duo will be developing a new platform while Ducati will be in charge of the engine. The engine in question is expected to be a fuel injected single cylinder unit with displacement around 300cc.
The report further claims the new platform will spawn two motorcycles. Both the bike models will share engine, gearbox, brakes, wiring harness, and other mechanicals similar to BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS. One model will draw styling cues from the Scrambler range while the other one may look like a mini-Multistrada.
When it comes to the supply chain, Hero and Ducati may opt for Probiking approach (Bajaj previously sold sub 650cc bikes of Kawasaki bikes in India via Probiking dealerships). The move may also see some of the new Hero MotoCorp dealerships upgrading to new premium showrooms.
Hero MotoCorp and Ducati is yet to officially comment about the development. An official statement regarding the tie-up is expected soon.