Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) is celebrating a significant milestone for its latest product – the Navi. The new bike has achieved its first major sales target and crossed 10,000 units dispatched to buyers. There have been several media reports suggesting this milestone was achieved at the end of May, but according to HMSI the milestone was achieved just yesterday. Total bookings for the bike have exceeded 15,000 now. Honda expects Navi numbers to dramatically increase as it begins to offer the product pan-India. “Navi still hasn’t been launched across India and its only limited to 10 cities as of now. From June we have started couple of more cities so only 10 towns and 10,000 dispatches – so it’s a great beginning for creation of a new segment and the acceptance and overwhelming response we are getting from urban youth – who are supposed to be the trendsetters. Also it sort of gives us a reassurance that we have already moved on to the next step of creating entirely new segment of two-wheeler in the country.” says Y S Guleria, Senior Vice President – Sales & Marketing, HMSI – speaking exclusively to NDTV.
Honda plans to make the Navi available in the top 35 cities by July-end. It is very clear about wanting to cash in on the college admissions period to catch a lot of the first-time buyers heading to higher studies – a key target demographic it sees for the bike. The Navi is what HMSI calls a new segment creator since it is seen as part scooter and part motorcycle in terms of size, build and functionality. In fact company officials have shared with me that the confusion has not only been at our end or the buyers’. Even the RTOs in various states across the country have faced a dilemma – with some registering the Navi as a scooter, some as a motorcycle, and the few even going so far as to call it a motorscooter! Similar was the case with us during our first ride review.
Nearly 50 per cent of Bookings for the Navi is With Customisation Pack
HMSI unveiled the Navi at the 2016 Auto Expo (at 39,500 ex-showroom Delhi) and also said it will offer plenty of customisation options. The Navi has a customisation kit that has 12 parts that can be changed. The kits are available in 3 colours – orange, green and red. This is why a lot of buyers are increasingly opting for the white stock bike and then adding in the colourful customisation options like the grab handle, leg guard, instrument cluster housing or decals. One needn’t buy the whole kit and can also get just the individual features they like. The 12 part kit though retails under 5000.
The company says nearly 50 per cent of all bookings are for Navis with customisation – with many buyers also further opting for after-market customising to enhance their bikes even more. This has led HMSI to initiate R&D to increase the customisation options in the Navi portfolio. It will introduce these options around August this year. It is also looking at increasing the sourcing of these products from its vendors, as the demand has far outstripped the company’s internal estimates.
Customised Honda Navi
Customised Honda Navi
Navi buyers have been overwhelmingly younger than HMSI’s other products have seen. 70% of buyers so far are 18 to 23 years old, with a quarter of the sales being accounted for by women buyers. Expect more Navi options/variants before the festive season as well. HMSI will also be updating its entire fleet to meet BSIV norms due by the year end, and so a full portfolio refresh will be the other big focus from the Japanese two wheeler maker for this fiscal.