Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), which became the first-ever subsidiary of Honda to sell 5 million units in a single fiscal year, is bullish on growth in India, particularly in view of the emission norm upgrade by April 2020.
Speaking today in Mumbai, Minoru Kato, the newly appointed president and CEO of HMSI, said: “The Indian market today is at the cusp of its biggest-ever paradigm shift. It is going to see substantial change in 3-4 years. BS VI norms will make India match the world’s most stringent quality standards. Honda’s vision is to build exponentially over our solid foundation. Our new business direction is to be leading in India and the world.”
“BS VI holds a big opportunity for Honda. It will help our Indian operations become Honda’s export hub of the world,” said Kato.
To meet BS VI norms, HMSI will bring in advanced technology like PGM-FI (Programmed Fuel Injection), which is Honda’s proprietary digital electronic fuel injection system employed for internal combustion engines. This system helps inject the specific amount of fuel per cylinder based on specific engine data. HMSI has set up a high-level BS VI task force which is cross-functional and sourced from different divisions like sales, engineering, R&D, purchase and quality. The focus of this task force is on strengthening quality and product planning with cost competitiveness.
With BS VI acting as a technology leveller to exports worldwide, HMSI is looking to substantially increase its exports. In FY2016-17, the company crossed the 300,000 unit mark, up 41 percent year on year.
To launch 4 new models in FY18, 6 million sales targeted
HMSI also revealed plans to launch four new models – two automatic scooters and two motorcycles – in FY2017-18. The first of these is the Africa Twin with DCT, trial assembly of which has begun in India.
Honda, which is the No. 2 two-wheeler player in India after Hero MotoCorp, sold a total of 4,725,067 units in the domestic market (+10.30%) and exported 283,163 units (+41.72%), thereby crossing the 5-million units mark for the first time in a fiscal. HMSI produced a little over 5 million units (5,044,518) across its four plants with an overall manufacturing capacity of 5.8 million units.
For FY2017-18, the company has targeted an all-time high of 6 million units. To facilitate this growth, the company will expand manufacturing capacity by 600,000 units at the fourth assembly line in its Karnataka plant by July 2017, taking cumulative capacity to 6.4 million units.