Hero Motor-Corp. Ltd of India, which sold nearly six million motorcycles and scooters last year, recently bought 49.2 percent of Erik Buell Racing LLC for US$ 25 million. In a Wall Street Journal report following the purchase, Ravi Sud, Hero's CFO said Eirk Buell Racing's (EBR) goal is to sell about 20,000 motorcycles in 2017.
That's quite a jump from the 65 motorcycles sold last year. To put that in perspective, Ducati sold a record 44,102 motorcycles worldwide in 2012.
Erik Buell would not provide specifics about future EBR products, but he did mention that there will be some 1190 and other models in the pipeline. Adventure and naked versions of the 1190 are possible, and there have been reports in India about an entry-level 250cc sportsbike. “By 2017, you will see a wide range of EBR products, that is certain,” said Mr. Buell. The Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer has already worked with Hero Motor-Corp to create the Leap hybrid scooter, introduced in 2012, so who knows what else might be in the pupeline?
'We had looked for partners for years,' said Erik Buell, 'but were determined to find one who understood and supported our long-term plans, and was willing to invest in a minority position. The leadership at Hero Motor-Corp understood both the long-term plans and the need for us to remain independent.'
When asked if the new EBRs will be for the US only, Erik Buell answered, 'All EBR-brand products will be for world consumption.'