Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is very clear about its Indian ambitions. The 2-wheeler major wants to be the number one bike manufacturer in the country by 2020, thereby displacing its erstwhile partner Hero. Number Hero sells more bikes than Bajaj (number 2) and Honda (number 3) combined. Majority of these sales come from economic commuter offerings like the Splendor and Passion. Honda knows in order to unsettle Hero, the company has to offer more commuter bikes, aimed at the majority of motorcycle buyers.
Honda took the first step towards increasing sales in the Indian market by launching the 110cc Dream Yuga motorcycle. Now the company plans to launch more products in the Dream Series, which will help it boost volumes dramatically. Currently the Dream Yuga is squarely aimed at the Hero Passion, while the next Dream Series bike will be aimed at the Hero Splendor. Expect the Dream branded bikes to be less than 125cc in capacity, with the focus being on affordability and low cost of running.
Honda has been long present in the Indian market. However the company has taken it very slow and steady with new products. It was only after the breakup with Hero, that the Japanese automaker has sped product development. One such product (codenamed K23A) is being developed to rival the Bajaj Pulsar 135LS. It is expected to hit markets within 18 months and will be priced very aggressively. Honda is betting big at the below 150cc segment in India. The company already has very good products in 150cc and above segments, compromising of the Unicorn, Dazzler, CBR150R and CBR250R. A 400cc CBR is rumored to be under development too.