Honda Navi Not Expected to Be a Volume Driver: HMSI

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) created a new 2-wheeled personal mobility segment when it launched the Navi mini bike at Auto Expo 2016. Ever since its launch on 3 February, the Honda Navi, which is neither a scooter nor a motorcycle, has received a decent reception in India and has already received 500 bookings via its mobile application. The Navi, or New Additional Value for India, is intended to offer young customers an alternate to the popular Honda Activa scooter as the mini bike is based on the same platform.

The Honda Navi has similar specifications to its scooter cousin and is lighter by 7kgs. It features an 110cc engine good for 12bhp and 9Nm, which is paired with an automatic transmission unit. The bike is priced at 39,500 and production is set to begin next month with deliveries expected to follow by April.

Despite the mini bike generating a lot of buzz ever since its launch, HMSI doesn’t see the bike selling in huge numbers from the word go. When speaking with Hindu Business Line, Shinji Aoyama, COO of Honda Motor Company’s Motorcycle Operations, said,” To tell you frankly, we are not aiming at very high volumes with the Navi. We will start off with small numbers, watch what will happen in the market and then plan the next step.”

Honda Navi Mini Bike

The made-in-India Navi did not require heavy investments as it’s based on the hot selling Activa scooter. Nevertheless, it is an important step taken by HMSI as it’s the first product to be designed completely indigenously from the ground up. The reason for its creation was to offer a more fun and customisable 2-wheeler option for youngsters looking to buck the trend of buying a standard scooter or commuter motorcycle. “The people here at HMSI found out that there are youngsters in India getting tires of sameness of the product. Not all, but some youngsters who felt this way,” Aoyama continued.

HMSI is India’s leading 2-wheeler manufacturer and therefore more challenging products like the Navi will help the company get a better understanding of what niches in the industry require attention and what the company can do to further up their game, states the Hindu Business Line report. In Aoyama’s opinion, increasing the sales of big hitting products like the Activa is getting to be too easy and in order to ensure that the company stays alert to the needs of the expanding Indian market, concentrating on more challenging projects like the Navi, even if it doesn’t sell, is of utmost importance. “People might feel too comfortable, otherwise, and this not a good thing. In a positive way, there should be some pressure on us to keep staying ahead,” he said.

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