Honda to introduce more gear-less scooters in domestic market

"We are the market leader in gear-less scooters. With demand for gear-less scooters to grow in the domestic market, we are upbeat on this segment. Going forward, HMSI sees 40 per cent business from scooters and 60 per cent from motorcycles," HMSI's President and CEO, Shinji Aoyama, told reporters here.

"Demand for gear-less scooters will be more in Tier II and III cities. We will continue to manufacture more scooters to meet demand in the domestic market," he said. The company plans to ramp-up its dealership network to tap the rural market.

"Presently, we have around 1,200 dealerships and we plan to add 100 more by FY 12," he said. Aoyama, who will leave the Indian firm after serving for four years to join the parent Honda Motor Company from April 1, said HMSI is aiming to be numero uno in India in the next decade.

"We are very happy for the support from the people (in India). We need the same support to be number one in the next decade in India," he said, adding, "the recent calamity in Japan has not affected our two-wheeler industry much."

The company is aiming to sell 21-lakh units in 2011-12, as against 16.5-lakh units in 2010-11. It is also aiming to export one-lakh units in 2011 and 1.7-lakh in 2012. "Our products are more in demand in the domestic market. Currently, we have 2.6-lakh waiting customers and plan to increase the capacity to meet market demand," he said.

HMSI plans to start production of its second facility at Tapukara in Rajasthan in July this year. Its initial annual capacity will be six-lakh units and later it will be expanded to 12-lakh units per annum.

"We will soon expand the capacity to 12-lakh units per year to meet the demand. We have invested around Rs 1,000-crore in the facility," he said. The company today introduced its global road-sport motorcycle -- CBR 250R, priced at Rs 1.51-lakh (ex-showroom in Mumbai), which will be available in the market next month.

"CBR 250R will be available by end-April at our 400 exclusive dealerships pan-India. We plan to sell 30,000 units in the first year," Aoyama said.

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