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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

first bike of Hero Corp Halol plant to Somnath temple

It is a magnificent edifice – the  Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra, is the  first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.  It has a past, having been destroyed by many an invaders, but rising back in style everytime.  The temple in its present form was reconstructed in Chalukya style in May 1951,  envisioned by Sardar  Vallabhbhai Patel and  completed under K. M. Munshi, the then head of the temple trust.

The temple’s past dates back thousands of year.  Later the Yadava Kings of Vallabhi around 649CE reconstructed it.  The invaders from Sind again destroyed it, reconstructed by Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhata II.  History records that in 1024, during the reign of Bhima I, Turkic ruler Mahmud of Ghazni raided Gujarat, plundering the Somnath temple taking booty of 20 million dinars.  Interestingly, in  1842, Edward Law, 1st Earl of Ellenborough issued  the Proclamation of the Gates, in which he ordered the British army in Afghanistan to return via Ghazni and bring back to India the sandalwood gates from the tomb of Mahmud of Ghazni in Ghazni, Afghanistan. These were believed to have been taken by Mahmud from Somnath. There was a debate in the House of Commons in London in 1843 on the question of the gates of the temple.

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As I grew up, there were only handful of motorbikes on my street, a lonely bullet, Czech Jawa (later Yezdis); few Rajdoot and even Enfield 150 ccs – Lambrettas were more common and there were a few Vijay scooters alongside Vespas & Bajajs.  Starting trouble was common – mechanics would open the shield, take out the sparkplug, check the gap, clean and after couple of empty kicks, vehicle would buzz back to action.  Quite frequently accelerator / gear cables would get cut and people used to carry spare cables in the box !  - in mid 1980s came 100cc bikes – first Ind-Suzuki and then Honda – the  ‘fill it, shut it, forget it’ branding took the fuel-efficiency to greater heights.   The other Advt that did great rounds was – Goldspot, the zing thing !!

Halol is a city in Panchmahal district in Gujarat.  There is a large body of water which was built in 1938 to provide Halol with a dependable water supply. Halol is situated as a center point from approximate distance of 40 km from Bodeli, Vadodara and Godhra. Halol is also nearby to tourist spot Pavagadh at 5 km distance and also a World Heritage Site Champaner.  Imagine what would push up sales – a good marriage season is expected to push two wheeler sales ?!?!

The subject matter of this post is Hero MotoCorp  has started rolling out BS IV compliant two-wheelers in the current month of March. It further said that the new vehicles adhering to BS IV emission norms will see a price hike of Rs 400 to Rs 600 per vehicle.  Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (Formerly Hero Honda Motors Ltd.) is the world's largest manufacturer of two - wheelers, based in India. In 2001, the company achieved the coveted position of being the largest two-wheeler manufacturing company in India and also, the 'World No.1' two-wheeler company in terms of unit volume sales in a calendar year. Hero MotoCorp Ltd. continues to maintain this position till date.

Even before General Motors India shuts its auto plant in Halol near Vadodara, the region has seen commissioning of Hero MotoCorp Limited’s two-wheeler manufacturing facility. The world’s largest two-wheeler maker has rolled out the first bike produced at its greenfield plant at Halol and the first two-wheeler was presented to Somnath Temple on Tuesday.  Have during 2000 in a pilgrimage to Thenthiruperai temple [Navathirupathi temples of Tirunelveli] seen two new TVS vehicles kept for pooja. 

Hero MotoCorp commenced commercial production at Halol plant; it is  the sixth plant of the company, which already has manufacturing facilities at Daruhera and Gurgaon in Haryana, Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Neemrana in Rajasthan as well as Columbia in South America. According to sources, the first phase capacity of Halol plant is 12 lakh units per annum, while overall production capacity planned is 18 lakh units. The initial investment proposed by Hero MotoCorp is estimated to be Rs 1,100 crore.  The company’s second global manufacturing facility is coming up in Bangladesh and will be operational later this year. The company is also planning to set up another plant in Andhra Pradesh.

“The first bike — Splendor Pro — was offered to Somnath Temple Trust.   

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Mar 2017

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