Being the second largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) aims to occupy the top position, beating the strongest rival and former partner, Hero MotoCorp. Honda had earlier set a target of becoming the number one player in the 2-wheeler market by 2020 but now it could overtake Hero MotoCorp much earlier. Over the past few years, Honda has been experiencing tremendous growth, owing to its dominance in the scooter segment.
During mid-2012, Honda overtook Bajaj Auto taking the second position but Bajaj Auto was able to recover the number two spot with good sales from the Discover. Honda believes that if the current market slowdown gets prolonged, it can become the number one manufacturer of 2-wheelers in India by 2016, four years ahead of schedule. According to Shinji Aoyama, Honda sees Bajaj Auto as a bigger rival than the current leader, Hero MotoCorp. Hero has to replace its complete 2-wheeler line-up next year as its licensing deal with Honda comes to an end.
According to SIAM’s data, Honda sold 23.67 lakh units between April 2012 and February 2013, Bajaj Auto managed to sell 22.82 lakh units and Hero MotorCorp’s total sales stood at 54.61 lakh units during the same period. The Japanese automaker believes that their market share will continue to grow and Hero MotoCorp will continue to lose its shares. For further expansion in its market share, Honda will be launching three 2-wheelers in the current fiscal and will also set up a new plant in a new location.
Honda has recently introduced 150cc CB Trigger in order to take on the Hero Hunk, Bajaj Pulsar, Yamaha FZ and TVS Apache. Honda will begin production at its Karnataka plant in the next three months with a capacity of 1.2 million units and by March 2014 they will have a total production capacity of 4 million units. The company is also coming up with customer touch points, which includes new dealers and service centres. They are expanding their reach in rural areas too.