After its acquisition of 49% of Erik Buell Racing, there was little reason left to doubt the intentions of the world’s largest two-wheel manufacturer. We are speaking about Hero MotoCorp (not Honda), and its aggressive development of cutting-edge motorcycles, as reflected in the Hastuer 620 concept, as well as the HX250R, which is entering production this year.
This is a photo of Markus Braunsperger, who has been with BMW for more than 25 years. In addition to a stint as head of R&D for BMW Motorcycles, Braunsperger designed flagship BMW automobiles. He is taking his expertise in development of new BMW models to India as the recently hired head of R&D for Hero. You can trust that, together with input from EBR, Braunsperger’s expertise will lead Hero in its development of larger displacement, higher performance models for both Indian and foreign markets (including the U.S.). EBR, which recently announced it has signed up more than 60 U.S. dealers, and partnered with Parts Unlimited for OEM parts distribution, will undoubtedly help Hero as it develops a distribution network for its products here in the U.S.
Here is the announcement from Hero:
|Hero MotoCorp has appointed hot-shot automobile designer Dr. Markus Braunsperger from BMW, Germany as the Head of its R&D division. A die-hard bike racer, Markus held numerous senior roles in R&D, production and strategy and headed the entire R&D function for BMW Motorcycles for several years. Significantly, he was also responsible for project management for BMW’s key product lines such as the 5/6/7 series as well as X3, X5 and X7 models.
Braunsperger has been hand-picked by Hero Vice Chairman Pawan Munjal and will report into him. Munjal was also instrumental in hiring Markus Feichtner last year from the globally-renowned engine specialists, Austrian firm AVL to lead the “Engine Design & Development” division within Hero’s R&D function.
Braunsperger will join Hero in the first week of October and will take complete charge of the company’s design and development of new products. He is expected to bring a lot of synergy between all of Hero’s technology partners – Erik Buell Racing (EBR) of the US, Engines Engineering of Italy and AVL of Austria.
Hero, which holds 49.2 per cent stake in EBR, will be launching the first of its completely new products – the HX 250R and the hybrid scooter Leap in the second half of this financial year, and Markus is expected to keep up the momentum charting out the future line-up of new products.
He will lead the 500-strong team of engineers at Hero’s R&D function. The market leader also last year brought in.
This team is going to be based out of the upcoming “Hero Centre for Global Innovation and Research & Design” at Kukas near Jaipur.
Hero has already developed three new engines to be fitted into its new products – 100cc, 110cc and 250cc engines. The 250cc engine will come in the form of the new Hero HX250R, expected to hit Indian roads in the second half of this fiscal. The 100cc and 110cc engines –with higher fuel efficiency and better overall performance – are likely to be fitted in the new commuter range of bikes that Hero is planning to launch.