Putting an end to all speculations, bicycle manufacturer Hero Cycles on Sunday announced that it will come out with the cheapest bicycle in the country, which will be priced at Rs 1999.
Popular as ‘black bicycle’, this basic model has been designed at Hero’s Manchester-based Global Design Center (HGD) for daily commuters, who use bicycles to get to work, remote markets, schools or hospitals. The bicycle has been re-named as `Upgraded Roadster model’.
Last month, company’s MD Pankaj Munjal had announced that it would slash prices of basic bicycle by Rs 500, which did not go down well with the bicycle industrialists who stated that a slash in prices would directly affect the small industries. Munjal, however, said, “Our new roadster will not be a rehash of the old model, but it will be an entirely new product, built from the ground up.”
Hero made the announcement that product will be out in the market soon, though the launch date has not been given as yet. Notably, the bicycle manufacturer had earlier stated that the price cannot be slashed without compromising on the quality.
Company’s MD Pankaj Munjal, however, allayed any such concerns. In a statement released, Munjal said, ”the upgraded Roadster will have a technologically advanced steel frame that will enable 50% higher load carrying capacity while reducing weight on the ride. A thoroughly geometry promises to refine the ride quality without compromising on quality. There will also be chemically treated rust free parts that increase the longevity of the bike in adverse weather conditions.”
According to Munjal, the new roadster will be based on the most global processes that will give each bike unique IPs, which means that any attempts to produce cheaper duplicates will be met with severe legal consequences for competitors and their associated spare part manufacturers.
However, the question that where the manufacturing of cheapest bike will be done was kept a secret. It was also not clarified as to whether the upgraded roadster will be meant only for men or for women as well.
Munjal, in his April meeting with members of United cycles parts and manufacturers association, had indicated that nearly 32 crores of Indians still need bicycles and hence a reduction in prices was the only answer to make the ride available for them. Federation of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings President Gurmeet Singh Kular, Owner of Neelam bicycles- KK Seth and many others had stated that a slash in price was not a good idea as it will hit the industry hard.
In his April 25 announcement, Munjal had said the product will be out in 60 days and if that is to be believed, it may come out by June end.