Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co plans to double its market share in India within the next few years, the head of its local unit told Reuters, as it looks to boost its presence in the world’s fifth-largest car market.
To be a major player and have a meaningful presence, Honda needs to achieve a 10 percent market share, Yoichiro Ueno, managing director of the carmaker’s India unit, told Reuters during the country’s biennial auto show. At the Auto Expo 2018, Honda cars showcased its new generation Honda Amaze and the new Honda Civic along with 2018 Honda CR-V that due for a market debut in FY 2018-19.
Honda, which sells cars such as the City sedan and CR-V sport-utility vehicle in India, has seen its market share fall to about 5 percent at the end of 2017 from 7 percent three years ago, industry data show, thanks to a slew of new launches from rivals Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor.
Annual passenger vehicle sales in India crossed 3 million units last year and the country is expected to become the world’s third-largest car market by 2020, trailing only China and the United States.
Also read: Auto Expo 2018: First images of Honda Civic and Honda CR-V: India launch in FY 2018-19
One of the challenges for Honda is that lower taxes on small cars in India make them a preferred choice for buyers, and the carmaker has few small cars to offer.
“Our global line up is different so it is a bit difficult to utilize global resources,” Ueno said, adding car taxation policy in India needed to change to encourage carmakers to bring in products from their global portfolio.
The Japanese carmaker is utilizing only 70 percent of its annual production capacity of 300,000 units in India and needs to ramp up output to be efficient, Ueno said.
At the Auto Expo 2018, Takahiro Hachigo, President and representative director, Honda motor company had said, " In 2017, Honda provided our products and joys to over 30 million customers around the world. The automobile products accounted for 5.3 million of our global sales and India was a great contributor. We are committed to the Indian market and aim to launch six models in the coming three years. Today we announced three of those models all new Amaze, all-new CR-V and much awaited 10th Feb Civic which will be launched in India in FY 18-19."