Following its exit from Hero Honda, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) on Monday said it would launch a range of motorcycles, including that in the mass segment of 100cc, to grab leadership position in the Indian two-wheeler market. HMSI also unveiled its global ‘road-sport' bike ‘CBR 250R', which will be launched next month.
“Our target in the next decade is to be No.1 in India. For the first time, we will introduce a mass segment motorcycle in the 100cc category…it is the first priority for us,” HMSI President and CEO Shinji Aoyama told journalists here. “We have not been entering the mass segment because of existence of Hero Honda (its erstwhile joint venture partner). But now for a while, we will concentrate on introducing mass models. We will introduce the 100cc bike in next year...it is currently under development,” he said.
HMSI will be strengthening its R&D in India and start developing specific products for the country, besides considering setting up a third plant. “We will start operating our second plant at Tapukara in Rajasthan by July-August, which will take our total annual production to 22-lakh units,” said Mr. Aoyama, who will be leaving India after a four-year stint to join the parent Honda Motor Co. He will be succeeded by Keita Muramatsu on April 1.
Mr. Aoyama said HMSI was expecting to sell a total of 16.5-lakh units in 2010-11, a jump of 30 per cent over the last fiscal, while it was aiming for an increase of over 27 per cent in its sales to 21-lakh units in 2011-12. The Indian two-wheeler market is likely to be 1.2 crore units in this fiscal.
Referring to HMSI's global ‘road-sport' bike ‘CBR 250R', which will be launched next month, he said it would mark the company's entry in the high performance 250cc segment.
The bike will available in two versions — standard variant priced at Rs.1.43-lakh and C-ABS variant priced at Rs.1.68-lakh.