New Delhi: Once a symbol of flamboyance and rave among young riders, the first premium sports bike by Hero MotoCorp Karizma (then Hero Honda), seems to have met the dead-end as the manufacturer did not produce a single unit in the last six months.
Launched in 2003 with country’s heart-throb Hritik Roshan as its brand ambassador, the sports bike is expected to bid adieu to the Indian roads after BS-VI implementation, industry source informed ETAuto.
According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), not a single unit of Karizma was produced between April 2019 and September 2019.
Earlier this year, the company had refuted that it has not discontinued Karizma and will continue to cater to the export market. However, it has not exported a single unit in the last six months, as per the wholesale data released every month. An email sent to the company remained unanswered.
The 200 cc bike, which had carved out its own niche among consumers had been gradually fading away from the Indian two-wheeler market. In FY18, the company produced 314 units which was reduced by 50 per cent in FY19 to 138 units. During this period, exports too significantly declined and were recorded at 80 units last fiscal.
The symphony with consumers continued with Karizma R-2007 and 2009 upgrade in some new colours which became appealing to customers.
In 2009, Yamaha entered the market with a big splash with its super sports inspired R15, sweeping many bikers in favor of it on the back of affordable pricing. This resulted in Hero bringing the new Karizma ZMR to offer similar experience for customers.
By 2012, the competition for the brand had risen. With Yamaha redeeming itself with R15 Version 2.0 and KTM 200 Duke, Bajaj Pulsar 200NS and Honda CBR250R in pipeline for launch, the Karizma slowly went off-track despite repeated attempts at revival with its ZMR avatar.
However, failure of Karizma though did not deter Hero MotoCorp from continuing experiments in the premium segment (above 200cc). In May this year, the company introduced three new products: XPulse 200, XPulse 200T and Xtreme 200S with a common 200cc engine.