Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Pvt.) Ltd. (HMSI) on Wednesday inaugurated its second two-wheeler plant in Tapukara Industrial Area. Initial capacity of the plant, built at a cost of Rs.460 crore, will be 6-lakh units annually, while its second phase will be completed by March next year with an additional investment of Rs.400 crore, which would take the plant's total installed capacity to 12-lakh units.

The new plant built near the Haryana-Rajasthan border, which is also close to the company's first plant at Manesar (Haryana), was inaugurated by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the presence of Japan's Honda Motor Company President and CEO Takanobu Ito and Takashi Nagai, President and CEO, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. and Honda Motor India Private. HMSI's Tapukara plant will employ around 3,200 people and manufacture scooter Activa and 110cc bike CB Twister.

HMSI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan's Honda Motor Company, has already announced setting up of a third plant near Bangalore with an investment of about Rs.1,000 crore. This plant is likely to become operational by mid-2013 with an installed capacity of 12-lakh units annually.

“We are committed to India market and have already announced huge investments to build capacity and expand our presence.

“The expansion of Tapukara plant and setting up of a new plant in Bangalore will enable us to serve the vast Indian two-wheeler market more efficiently. By 2013, our total production will reach 40-lakh units…we will be able to meet needs of both urban and rural markets,” HMSI President and CEO Keita Muramatsu said after the plant's inauguration.

Referring to HMSI's competition with the Honda Group's erstwhile joint venture partner Hero Honda, Mr. Muramatsu said they were not planning to match the latter's production.

“We will focus on improving our products and give improved service quality to become a market leader in India.

“I don't think we will be looking at matching the capacity of Hero Honda but what we are looking at is the growth of the market and we have already opened our second plant,” he added.

According to HMSI Vice-President (Sales, Marketing and Corporate Affairs) N. K. Rattan, “To fulfil the diversifying needs of customers in the rapidly growing market of India, we are enhancing our product line up. This year we will introduce at least two new models. Increase in production capacity will reduce waiting period for our customers, while we are focussing on brining distinct product for urban and rural consumers.

“We are also focussing on increasing our reach, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas”.

Keywords: Honda Motors

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