Family feuds are something that isn’t unheard of, especially when it comes to large business families of India. It looks like the latest to join the fray is none other than the Hero group. Hero MotoCorp, the largest-selling two-wheeler manufacturer in the country, has got into controversies even before it could introduce its electric vehicle range. And the reason for the same arises from within the family.
As per a mutual agreement within the Munjal’s family, the rights to use ‘Hero’ branding for EVs lies only with Hero Electric. Hence, Hero MotoCorp using the ‘Hero’ moniker for its upcoming range of electric vehicles will be in clear violation of the agreement that was signed between the Munjal’s back in 2010. This pact does allow other family members to venture into the electric vehicles business but one simply can’t use the ‘Hero’ brand to market their vehicles. With Hero MotoCorp continuing to use the popular name on its vehicle, it will surely give the motorcycle manufacturer a clear advantage over Hero Electric.
Speaking to the media, Naveen Munjal, Managing Director of Hero Electric, has stated – “There is a very clear agreement within the family which happened when we did the restructuring in 2010 on how the brands are going to be used. There was no non-compete (clause) as far as product segments are concerned, which means anybody could get into any segment but there exists a very strong non-compete clause for brand usage.”
Furthermore, he said that his company holds the right to use the ‘Hero’ moniker on all of the electric vehicles, green vehicles and even environmentally-friendly products. Hence, he will surely not alloy ‘others’ to use the Hero branding for similar businesses. The controversy arises on the back of Hero MotoCorp, known for its highly successful commuter motorcycles like the Splendor, tying up with Taiwan-based Gogoro to launch the Viva scooter in India. In fact, Hero MotoCorp has already announced that it will launch its first electric vehicle by next and its range of models will be made available through two verticals – in a collaboration with Gogoro and through its own R&D facilities. The popular motorcycle manufacturer even announced that it will sell the electric vehicle range under the ‘Hero’ branding and this is something that has caused the entire controversy. In fact, Naveen even commented that he has been surprised by this clear violation of the agreement by Hero MotoCorp. He’ll now take all the required steps to prevent this violation.
While Hero MotoCorp is yet to respond to the latest comments by Naveen Munjal, things could turn ugly as India’s largest-selling motorcycle manufacturer inches closer to the launch of its EV range. Also, it will be interesting to note if the makers of the Hero Splendor are able to market their electric vehicles under the Hero umbrella.
Source – Moneycontrol