India's Hero Motors Company (HMC) Group on Tuesday announced plans to set up a new international headquarters, Hero International (HIT), in London as part of a push towards expanding Hero Cycles' overseas business and strengthening its global presence.
The company said HIT is aimed at bringing HMC's European businesses under one umbrella and giving its electric bike business a major boost worldwide.
The new HQ will unify HMC-owned European businesses, including HNF GmbH in Germany and Insync Bikes in UK, as part of a long-term vision to grab an increasing share in the lucrative e-bike market growing at an exponential pace in Europe.
"With Hero International (HIT), the HMC Group now has an international headquarters in London to act as a catapulting agent to our global expansion plans," said Pankaj M Munjal, Chairman and Managing Director, HMC - a Hero Motor Company.
"E-bike sales are expected to reach an estimated 30 million in Europe by 2030 growing at a CAGR of 26 per cent between 2024 and 2030. With Europe as our key market, HMC has set its sights on capturing a greater pie of this fast-growing e-bike segment with a goal of touching a revenue of Euro 300 million by 2025," he said.
HIT will play a strategic role in streamlining and bringing together different strategic strengths of the group, including its European research, development and design centres, backed up with a scaling up of the company's manufacturing capability in India.
"The dedicated headquarters in Europe will enable us to devise an effective long term growth strategy backed up by manufacturing support from India where we are scaling up production capacity significantly through the International Cycle Valley project," added Munjal.
HMC's Global R&D is currently centralised in Berlin with HNF, which is a premium engineering unit. HIT in London will provide unified and strategic leadership to the company in Europe across finance, strategy and supply chain operations.
The ambitious international plans are backed up by backend support with the upcoming E-Cycles Valley project in Punjab, which will add a capacity of 4 million bikes and e-bikes across India and Sri Lanka, from where the group avails zero duty exports to European Union (EU).
The company says Cycle Valley is expected to take Hero Group's manufacturing capacity to 10 million bikes every year.
Hero Cycles, part of India's HMC Group, has a manufacturing capacity of 6 million 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.
While Avocet Sports was Hero Cycles' first overseas acquisition and marked the company's entry into the European bicycle market, HNF marked the company's foray into the e-bikes segment.