For years now, we’ve been telling you made-in-India motorcycles are going to show up in North America – it’s just a matter of time. And, that time is now.
Ever since Erik Buell Racing signed a deal with Indian manufacturer Hero, everyone knew their co-operation was going to go beyond simply faxing a few blueprints back and forth. At Orlando-based AIMEXPO, Erik Buell confirmed those suspicions, saying his company will be the North American distributor for Hero motorcycles. You’ll be able to go into an Erik Buell Racing dealer and choose between their high-end superbikes, or a made-in-India commuter.
There’s no word yet as to which of Hero’s models will come to North America, or what the price tag will be. Most of their machines are pretty humdrum – they’re known for small-capacity runarounds, not superbikes, although their partnership with Buell’s company might change that. Hero produces six million two-wheelers a year; they’ve been best-known for their 800-lb gorilla status in the Indian market, but they’ve been expanding very aggressively on the global scene. They own 49.2 per cent of EBR, and now that investment looks like it could pay off.
What does this mean for the Canadian market? EBR hardly has much market share in Canada – they barely have a foothold in the US. But with Hero’s money behind them, we could see an all-out assault here shortly.