Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI) has announced its aim to achieve a 20 per cent growth in sales in the 2016-17 fiscal. Currently one of the leading two-wheeler manufacturers in the country, HMSI has also revealed its plan to commence a second production line at its Gujarat facility, which will facilitate this goal. In addition to that, with the second line, the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer also hopes reduce the long waiting period for its flagship scooter – the Honda Activa, which is currently clocked at about 6 months.
Speaking on this matter, Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India said, “We hope to sell over 20 per cent more units this year. The second assembly line in Gujarat, with a capacity of 0.6 million by the end of this quarter, should help us end the near six-month waiting for the Activa now. We hope from the Diwali season one can drive away an Activa over the counter.”
The Japanese two-wheeler giant had a whopping 56 per cent share of the scooters market in 2015-16 and expects this to increase further with more supply from the Gujarat plant. In FY 2015-16, while overall two-wheeler sales inched down 0.24 per cent to 1,07,00,466 units, Honda sales rose to 44,83,459 units from 44,52,005 units, out of which domestic sales stood at 42,83,345 units, up from 42,63,746 units earlier. In fact Honda even had an exceptional start this fiscal, with April sales zooming 26.51 per cent to 4,31,011 unit.
Honda’s Gujarat plant is the world’s largest scooter factory. Located at Vithalapur near Ahmedabad, the 6-lakh unit first line in the plant was opened ahead of its schedule in February and a similar capacity second line will be on-stream next month, Guleria said. Honda claims that with the second line in Gujarat going on-stream, the company’s total capacity will touch 5.8 million from the present 4.6 million from its four plants.
With these hopes in mind, Guleria said, “For the first time, we will be able to cross the 5 million sales mark this year. FY-2017 is going to be our most definitive year here. Our priorities will be strengthening our connect with the youth, make all our models BS-IV compliant at the earliest while continue to aggressively make inroads into rural markets, which now contributes around 35 per cent of total sales.”