Hero Cycles has delivered its first batch of “Made in India” e-bikes to Europe, India’s Hero Motors Company (HMC) Group said in a statement on Saturday. The first batch of around 200 units has been delivered to Germany, the company added.
The company exported the e-bikes under the HNF brand of Hero International (HIT).
“The first HNF branded bike built in India has landed on European shores. This is a big moment for the company and will demonstrate its ability to disrupt the market in Europe,” said Jeff Weiss, the London-based CEO of Hero International.
Hero International – the European bike and e-bike arm of HMC – said the company aims to achieve an organic revenue of up to EURO 300 million by 2025, while adding EURO 200 million from inorganic growth.
“Clearly, a major part of the future is e-bikes with e-bike sales expected to reach around 15 million units in Europe by 2030. We are confident that Hero is poised to become a market leader in this segment, making high-quality e-bikes fusing HNF’s engineering and design expertise with Hero’s manufacturing capability, especially with the 100-acre Cycle Valley in Ludhiana,” he said.
Hero Motors Company added that it has established its digital supply chain company – Hero Supply Chain (HSC) to cater to the growing demand for bikes and e-bikes.
According to Hero Motors, HSC is designed to act as a consolidated buying house for HIT and cater to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) demand in the EU for supplies from India. Hero’s latest venture, Spur, will manufacture key components for bicycles in-house.
Hero International was created to cater to the booming European market by acquiring Avocet Sports in Manchester in the UK in 2016. Avocet Sports, later renamed as Insync Bikes, is one of the largest bike distributors in the UK, with more than 22% market share in the kid’s bike segment.
By 2019, the European market was drifting increasingly towards e-bikes, and demand for high-tech, light and durable e-bikes for sustainable commuting was growing. HMC decided to leverage its automotive manufacturing experience to venture into manufacturing premium e-bikes in India while acquiring HNF Nicolai, a premium German e-bike brand, to enter the European e-bikes market.
“Today, the bike market in India is valued at EURO 0.8 billion with 15 million bikes a year, whereas the European market is 15 times that of India. The e-bikes market, where the growth lies, is valued at EURO 5 billion for Europe, 50 times that of India, valued at EURO 0.1 billion,” said HMC Group Chairman and Managing Director Pankaj M. Munjal.
Hero Cycles, part of India’s HMC Group, has a manufacturing capacity of 60 lakh bicycles per year and a network of plants located in Ludhiana (Punjab), Ghaziabad (UP), and Bihta (Bihar). It also has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka as well as a Design Centre in the UK. It also owns UK-based Avocet Sports, Germany-based HNF, and Firefox Bikes in India.