Hero MotoCorp has hired former BMW designer Markus Braunsperger to lead the Indian company’s research and development division. Braunsperger once held a similar position with BMW in the early 2000s, developing models such as the K1200S before moving on to BMW’s automobile division where he helped design the 5, 6 and 7 series sedans as well as the X3, X5 and X7 SUVs.
Braunsperger will head Hero’s new R&D center in Rajasthan, India, starting in October. Bringing Braunsperger into the fold is an important move for Hero, as its technology licensing deal with former partner Honda expired in June. Braunsperger will work with Hero’s current technology partners, fuel system company Magneti Marelli and Engines Engineering of Italy, Austria’s AVL and Erik Buell Racing (Hero MotoCorp also owns a 49.2% stake in EBR).
Hero’s first models developed without Honda are expected to hit the Indian market this fall, starting with the HXR250R sportbike (pictured above).