Honda Siel to invest Rs. 200 cr.

NEW DELHI DEC. 4. Honda Siel Cars India (HSCIL) plans to raise investment in this country to about Rs. 200 crores over the next two years to step up indigenisation of its existing car models. It also proposes to enhance its sales target to 22,000 units in 2003-04 from 13,300 units in the previous year.

Disclosing this here today, the Honda India Chairman, H. Yamada, said it also expected to expand its share of the mid-size automobile market from 15.6 to 21 per cent in the current fiscal. The aim is to increase sourcing of components from within the country despite the new free trade agreement with Thailand which could ease import of components from its plants in that country.

Mr. Yamada told newspersons that out of the 22,000 units being sold this year, as much as 18,700 units would be of the mid-size City model while another 2100 units would be of the luxury car, Accord.

In addition 1200 units of the sports utility vehicle, CR-V, were expected to be sold in the market. He also indicated that the company was considering a proposal to launch a compact car in India in order to achieve its aim of an overall ten per cent share of the automobile market by 2010.

As for price hikes, he said the effort would be to maintain the current price level for as long as possible.

Regarding the recently launched new Honda City, he said it had sold 2244 units since its launch in October, a 36 per cent growth over the corresponding period last year. The City model has an advance booking of 4000 units and a waiting period of six to eight weeks now.

Mr. Yamada emphasised that the company had to focus on strengthening its dealership network to buttress its increasing sales. The number of service outlets is sought to be raised from 44 to 51.

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