Honda plans 100 cc bike

Special Correspondent

The bike could hit the market within three years

To sport a premium price tagMay introduce popular high-end bikes later

NEW DELHI: Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) on Wednesday said it was developing a new motorcycle in the 100-cc segment for India. The bike could hit the market within three years.

Addressing his first press meet here after assuming office earlier this month, HMSI President and CEO Shinji Aoyama said the company's new 100 cc model could be positioned slightly higher than the existing ones in the market and sport a premium price tag.

"We are not expecting big volumes from the 100 cc bike. We cannot be the number one in the segment," he said.

Observing that it would take about two years to develop the new bike and another year for commercial production and marketing, he said the company would not need another plant and the 100 cc bike would be produced from its existing facility at Manesar. Referring to Rs. 400-crore investment plan announced earlier for scaling up capacity to 12 lakh units annually from the present nine lakh units (six lakh scooters and three lakh motorcycles), marketing initiatives and product development, Mr. Aoyama said the company would `probably' launch a new 125 cc bike model to tap the younger generation.

The company is also looking at the possibility of introducing its popular high-end bikes in the domestic market that could cost a whopping Rs. 10 lakh per unit. "We are presently studying when to launch high-end bikes like CBR 1000 and Gold Wing in India but have not decided on any fixed time frame,'' he said.

Acknowledging that there was some worker trouble at the shop floor earlier this month and asserting that the management has nothing to do with it, a senior company official, however, said the company might take action against some workers involved in the brawl at factory.

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