Honda is ready to make a major come back to the scooter market in India with the Activa 125 this year, that was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo last month. Codenamed K24A, the Activa 125 is most likely to be called ‘Activa Plus’ upon launch and will join its 110cc sibling in the automatic scooter market. The Activa 125 is a very important product for the company and is believed to be powered by Honda’s new compact global engine that has been specially designed for the company’s next generation of scooters for emerging markets.
The new global engine will be a 125cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder unit with light weight and a compact body. Honda had announced in September 2011 that the company is developing a new engine for its next generation of 125cc scooters and the idle-stop system for motorcycles. The engine will also have an improved fuel economy by 25 percent compared to the other engines of similar displacement and will incorporate a wide range of low-friction technologies in the core. The new global engine is most likely to be manufactured in India to maximize the economies of scale.
The new 125cc engine made its global debut in Vietnam in March last year with the Lead 125 scooter. Interestingly the new engine also carried the idle-stop system (enhanced Smart Power) for high fuel efficiency. Vietnam is also a global exporter for Honda and manufactures 2 lakh units of the scooter annually for local and export markets. In India, the new Activa 125 scooter will be manufactured at Honda’s Manesar plant with a production of 2 lakh units per annum. The production will commence in the first quarter of FY2015. The company will later move production to its new upcoming plant in Gujarat which will be primarily dedicated to manufacturing scooters with the production of the 110cc Activa.
Honda is using its fuel efficient models to get closer to its long term goal of dethroning Hero MotoCorp in the two-wheeler market by 2020. The company improved the fuel economy on its scooters with the new Honda Eco Technology (HET) last year which is found on the current Activa, Aviator and Dio scooters. The technology will also be seen on the India developed CX-01 concept motorcycle.
The Honda Activa Plus is most likely to break cover in the first week of April. The new scooter will be available in two variants. The base variant will get drum brakes and is expected to be priced at Rs. 60,000/-, while the top end variant will get alloys and disc brakes and will be priced around Rs. 65,000/-. Honda has been losing out its market share to the TVS Jupiter recently, with the latter being a more value for money product. The Activa 125 on the other hand will be an evolutionary product, but will have to pack in some gusto as well to keep the buyers attention.
Source – Autocar Professional