CHENNAI: India is now the largest two wheeler market globally, by volume, for Japanese automobile major Honda. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India’s (HMSI) volume contribution globally hit 32% in the first quarter of this financial year -its highest ever so far.
According to top HMSI officials the company’s two wheeler sales grew 20% in the April-July period -compared to 9% growth clocked by the industry -with scooters growing 19% and motorcycles growing 20% including domestic sales and exports.
“India is also the biggest production hub now for Honda with a combined capacity of 6.4 million units compared to Indonesia which was earlier the largest at 5.8 million units,” said YS Guleria senior VP marketing and sales HMSI.
With this India has become Honda’s largest motorcycle market globally in FY16-17 dethroning Indonesia which however continues to be Honda’s biggest scooter market globally. In an effort to keep up that momentum the company is planning to enter the high growth 250 cc plus motorcycle market that is currently dominated by Royal Enfield.
“We have a strong intention to enter this segment in the near future. We have been considering how to enter it with the right product and compete from the cost and price point because competition enjoys high-cost competitiveness,” said M Kato president and CEO HMSI. Apart from the lifestyle segment Honda’s also trying to expand the market for scooters to semi urban and rural segments. To that end the company on Monday launched the 110 cc Cliq at a price of Rs 44,524.
“Overall rural markets contribute around 28-30% of Honda’s sales with 20% of scooter sales coming from these markets” added Guleria.
Apart from rural markets, focus is also on the 5 southern markets which together account for 28% of two wheeler sales countrywide and 43% scooter sales.