The low-cost motorcycle will be locally developed at Honda’s R&D facility and will be using cost reduction measures through technology intervention to keep the price competitive.
Having launched the all-new CB Unicorn 160 yesterday, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) spoke about its offerings in the coming year and the plan to launch a new low-cost motorcycle in the country. The new low-cost motorcycle will be developed at the company’s R&D centre in Manesar with expertise coming from its Japanese headquarters. While Honda already makes low-cost motorcycles in China for South Africa which are priced around $600 (Rs. 38,000/-), the company stated that it will not be taking inputs from the China facility for product development in India.
Honda’s domestic R&D facility houses over 200 engineers and has outlined the need of sales, engineering, design & bough out (SEDB) concept that will roll out Indian customer centric motorcycles and scooters. Unlike low-cost cars that come void of features, the manufacturer says the low-cost motorcycles will not be cheap but will see a lot of local content gone into the making that gives the company more effective control on costs, while maintaining high aspirations in terms of brand value. Likely to roll out in the next 2-3 years, the new low-cost motorcycles could be based on improvised existing platforms or on completely new platform that are ideally priced for the Indian market.
The two-wheelers will also see a host of cost reduction measures through technology intervention. In a bid to compete against erstwhile partner Hero MotoCorp, Honda has been growing rapidly and is closing on the gap in terms of sales. The automaker has been facing production constraints as well that is allowing limited growth and will be resolved once the new two-wheeler facility in Gujarat commences operations. The company’s current production capacity stands at 4.6 million units which will be increased to 5.8 million once the plant goes into operations by FY2016.
Source – Economic Times