The last fiscal year has been an eventful one, primarily due to demonetisation and the switch from BS-III to BS-IV emission norms. Despite all the setbacks, Honda has sold five milion units that year and the brand is looking forward to raking even more sales figures this fiscal, six million units to be precise. To achieve this, Honda aims to add 500 touch points (authorised service outlets) this fiscal, taking the total touch points to 5,800 mark across India with special focus on the semi-urban and rural areas.
Speaking about production capacity, Honda has four plants in India with one of them solely manufacturing automatic scooters. The brand plans to add 0.6 million units in mid-2017 which will take the total production capacity to 6.4 million units this fiscal year.
Commenting about Honda’s growth plans, Mr Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, HMSI said, “On our product front, we had smooth transition to BS-IV for all our models. Activa continues to lead the industry as the highest selling two-wheeler. In the 125cc segment, Honda CB Shine is leading the pack. With over 50,000 customer base the first year, the Navi is spearheading the customisation culture and has created a new Fun segment. With additional capacity, new models introduction, aggressive network expansion & regional strategic promotion, Honda is all set for carrying on its sales momentum in FY’18 as well.”
Being a brand that primarily produces products for budget-centric customers, the overall scheme of things in the rural sector is crucial for the growth of the company. “With expected monsoons as per India Meterological Department forecast, good realisation of Rabi crop & backing of respective centre and state governments to the rural economy, rural buying sentiments are expected to drive demand. Rapid scooterisation of the Indian two-wheeler market will be like a tailwind for realisation of Honda’s next year plan,” added Guleria
In the meanwhile, the products on the higher end of the spectrum, i.e., the completely built unit (CBU) portfolio - Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade, Fireblade SP and Goldwing - will continue to be sold through the two Honda Wing World dealerships in India.
Additionally, Honda plans to introduce 4 new two-wheelers in India this fiscal. One of them will be the Honda Africa Twin, which will be brought in via the completely knocked down (CKD) route. Among the other upcoming products, one is expected to be a motorcycle in the 150-200cc category and the other two are likely to be scooters in the 110-125cc segment.
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