Hero MotoCorp seems to be working hard on launching a rival to Honda Motor Co.'s best-selling scooter Activa, as it struggles with slowing demand in the motorcycle segment.
To counter the stiff competition from former partner Honda, India's largest two-wheeler maker is expediting its work on a rival to Activa, Live Mint reported quoting sources close to the matter.
The new launch, a 110cc full metal body unisex scooter, is reported to be undergoing rigorous trials, as the company plans to release it for sale by July this year.
The features include external fuel filling, telescopic front suspension, tubeless tyres, digi-analogue console, integrated braking system, remote-controlled seat and fuel lid opening, a USB mobile charging unit and a light in the under-seat storage.
However, the new scooter did not feature in the models displayed by the company at the 2014 Auto Expo in Delhi due to competitive reasons, according to another source close to the development.
"They want to take Honda by surprise," the source noted.
After the release of Acitva's rival, the company is expected to introduce another scooter Dash, one of three new scooters it showcased at Auto Expo in Delhi. The other two models are Dare and ZIR.
"While the new range of motorcycles, including the 250cc sports bike, were originally scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2015, the company wants to hold them back for some time," said a person familiar with the development.
Sales are motorcycles across the country have been slowing due to subdued demand from rural consumers, as their incomes are hit by unseasonal rains.
"Going forward, Hero will increase focus on scooters, which has very much become an urban phenomenon. There will be more variants of Pleasure and Maestro," said one of the sources.
While scooters occupied a 58.68% share of Honda's total sales in 2014-15, Hero's scooter sales accounted for 12% of its overall sales.