Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the country's second-largest two-wheeler manufacturer, has planned multiple product launches across product categories to strengthen its grip on the domestic market as semiconductor availability improves.
A budget-segment motorcycle is one of the new launches planned by the company. With this, the Japanese conglomerate hopes to challenge Hero MotoCorp's dominance in the domestic two-wheeler market.
Honda will introduce new motorcycles in the 160cc and 300-350cc segments, and an all-new 125cc scooter. These will take place over the next year, according to a top company official in an interview.
HMSI's president, managing director, and CEO, Atsushi Ogata, stated, “We are in the developmental stage with regards to the low-end motorcycle. We have to meet the new emission regulations for the next financial year. In the upper middle segment, we will have one in the 160cc segment. And we will also have a 125-scooter next year. Next year, we will also introduce a new model in the 300-350cc category.”
“Since the start of this year, thanks to schools reopening and offices restarting, we could see very positive momentum even from rural areas. We are keeping good momentum compared with the last three years. We have the festive demand coming up and the chip shortage issue is getting better,” he further added.
The company is also developing its first electric two-wheeler, which could be available within the next 1-2 years. HMSI has progressed from the feasibility study stage to the development stage for its first EV.
From April 2023, India will implement OBD 2, an emission tracking regulatory requirement. Two-wheeler manufacturers are racing against the clock to meet the new standards, which will apply to both new and existing models. These standards are expected to raise purchasing costs by 5-6%.
HMSI is making strategic decisions regarding its manufacturing capabilities. Its Manesar plant, the company's oldest in India, will become a hub for premium and mid-capacity bikes. Manesar currently produces eight motorcycles with 160cc engines and above, with a maximum capacity of 400,000 units.