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Companies that ruled the Indian motorcycling scenario as partners have now turned aggressive to eat up the share of each other. Honda Motorcycles, after exiting the joint venture with Hero Motocorp after 27 years, has chalked out some serious strategy in terms of launching motorcycles at game-changing prices to challenge its now-rival, Hero Motocorp. The Japanese 2 wheeler manufacturer is planning to sell made-in-china models of 125cc displacement with an ex-showroom (Delhi) price of a little over Rs.30, 000. This makes it cheaper than the current CD Dawn by about Rs. 4000 and cheaper than the Super Splendor by about Rs. 17,000 to 18,000. Honda currently sells these china-made bikes in Nigeria.
“We are working out plans to gain leadership in the Indian two-wheeler market. Going forward we are conducting a feasibility study for our low-cost bike that is currently made in China and could be manufactured in India” Tatsuhiro Oyama, senior managing officer & director motorcycle operations at the Japanese giant told.
Honda also recently launched their new 110cc motorcycle, the Dream Yuga at the Auto Expo. Honda is planning to increase its presence more in the commuter segment. Mr. Oyuma added that Honda is aiming to sell 10 million two-wheelers in India by 2020 and target a 30% market share to achieve leadership in India. Honda is already the market leader in India when it comes to scooters and wants to be the same for motorcycles. For this, apart from low cost models, Honda is also busy with its capacity expansion. The company plans to set up a 4th plant in India with an initial capacity of 1.21 million units. After the installation of this plant, Honda’s total production capacity will stand at 5.2 million, not very far from Hero’s whose current capacity stands at 6.15 million units per year. Honda has already taken over TVS to become the third largest in India, following Hero and Bajaj. But it seems Honda is slowly narrowing its gap with Bajaj. In December 2011, Honda had sales of 1.92 lakh and Bajaj 2.64 lakh bikes.
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