New DelhiIndia – India’s largest bicycle maker Hero Cycles would soon foray into manufacturing of electric pedal assist cycles (EPAC). A separate assembly line would be set-up in Hero Cycles Sri Lankan plant with capacity of 4,000 units per month.

The capacity would be ramped-up to 15,000 units per month capacity in the next 18 months from 2017 and eyeing annual production of 100,000 units by 2019. “We are setting-up an additional line producing pedal assist bikes at Sri Lankan plant and the built-up capacity would cater domestic and European markets,” said V Sreeram, Director, International Marketing, Hero Cycles. The production would likely to commence in the first quarter of next fiscal.

The plan also involves localization of motor production to control the cost of production. Currently, the pedal assist bikes are fitted with motors sourced from Bafang and batteries from Panasonic.

Hero Cycles acquired BSH Ventures, one of Sri Lanka’s leading bicycle manufacturers, with an aim to develop it as a manufacturing base for export to Europe.

Develop brands for European market

Outlining European strategy Sreeram said, “Hero plans to expand in three critical European markets of Germany, Denmark & Holland in the next 4-5 months. It has developed a basket of five brands targeting various segments like – Lectro (EPAC), Riddick (premium MTB), e-novo (kids), Ryedale (Ladies) & Viking.”

The brands are a mix of town, country & city range and registered under Hero, Riddick is a flagship brand and has seen surge in Europe in recent past, e-novo has presence in Europe and soon coming to India, while Viking is a century old brand with fan following in the UK and Scandinavia and we will take it Africa also.