Honda to invest Rs 1500 Cr in 2012 for growth

KOLKATA, June 20: Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India Limited will invest Rs 1500 crore this year for establishing its third manufacturing unit in India and maintain over 15 to 16 per cent annual growth in business.

Stating this HMSIL Vice-President,Sales and Marketing, Yadvinder Singh Guleria here today said following the commencement of the new plant at Narsapuram,about 50 km from Bengaluru,by the end of 2013,their production would touch the annual four million mark from the current about 2.8 million units,by 2014-15.

‘We have decided to increase our capacity and set up the third production unit in the wake of a very healthy growth in two wheeler business not only in India but across Asia and rest of the world’, said Mer Guleria.

Speaking to UNI on the sidelines of the formal launch of Honda’s mass motorcycle ‘Dream Yuga’at a competitive price tag of Rs 47,062(ex showroom Kolkata) with a mileage of 72 km/lt and several other attracting features,Mr Guleria claimed that currently HMSIL had been enjoying over 51 per cent share of Indian two-wheelers market.

‘In terms of sales we presently stand only behind the Hero Group,’ he said replying to a query about their current all India standings.

Mr Guleria said though at present Honda had two state-of-the- art manufcturing units at Manesar in Haryana and at Tapukara in Rajasthan with a combined total production capacity of 2.8 million units, the necessity to set up the third unit near Bengaluru was felt after the huge gap between demand and supply came to the fore last year.

He said at least 80 per cent of the total proposed investment of Rs 1500 crore,would be spent for the new plant,while the rest would be required for the promotion of brand image and other purposes.

On the present trend of customers preferences for motorbikes, Mr Guleria said though majority people still opted for 125cc and 150cc bikes,the demand for superbikes of 1000 cc or more with an average price tag of Rs one million,had been increasing quite steadily.

‘As there is no production facility for superbikes in India with the entire product being imported from abroad,the current depriciation of Indian curreny had indeed some negative effect on sales.

‘Last year we sold about 1,000 superbikes in India,’ he said but refused to share this year’s projected figure.

To another query Mr Guleria said the demand for scooters was was also growing steadily across the country for the past few years,particularly among the women.

About the total size of two wheeler market in India,he said last year more than 2.1 million bikes and scooters were sold. This year with about 20 per cent growth about 2.7 million units were expected to reach the customers. (UNI)