Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India is planning to add around 1,000 customer touchpoints over the next three years, as it looks to cater to the emerging demand from rural areas and smaller towns, a top company official said on Thursday. The company, which on Thursday launched an all-new bike CB200X priced at Rs 1.44 lakh (ex-showroom Gurugram), aims to have around 7,000 customer touchpoints across the country over the next three years.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) currently has about 6,000 strong sales infrastructure across India, comprising dealers, sales and service points, to cater to the needs of customers.
“India is very huge and although we have enough dealer network in the country, demand is increasing, especially from rural areas and Tier II and tier III towns…so within three years, we will be adding about 1,000 customer touchpoints taking the total figure to around 7,000,” HMSI Managing Director, President and CEO Atsushi Ogata told reporters.
When asked if the company is facing production issues due to semiconductor shortage, he said that “some of the models may have some effect”.
“Festive season is an important time, so we are trying to communicate with some specific suppliers to avoid the impact on our sales. Similarly, we are also communicating with our customers to avoid any negative impact due to the situation,” Ogata said.
To offset the impact of the increase in raw material cost, the company has taken price hikes, but with the festive season approaching and the commodity prices stabilising a bit, the two-wheeler maker would “try to reduce the additional price for the customers by as much as possible”, he added.
Commenting on the market situation, HMSI Director (Sales and Marketing) YS Guleria said the company was witnessing an increase in the number of inquiries as well as footfalls at its dealerships.
“Compared to the same period of April-July last year we are witnessing more than 50 percent increase in our enquiries. Also, with 98 percent of our sales network operational now, we are open to doing business,” he noted.
The company is also witnessing a rise in retail sales, which is aligned with an increase in the number of enquiries, Guleria said.
“Retail sales are 30 percent up as compared with the similar period of last year. Since we are preparing for the festive period, we hope that there is no further wave coming in,” he added.
In related news: Honda’s most affordable ADV CB200X launched at Rs 1.44 lakh
Guleria also said the initial feedback indicates that sales momentum would continue in the next few months.
On scooter sales, he noted that the segment suffered due to prolonged lockdowns in the urban areas.
“The scooter contribution in the two-wheeler sales in the last 3-4 years has been around 30 percent and despite many challenges in the market, including the COVID-19 waves, scooters have been able to hold on to this kind of contribution,” Guleria said.
He noted that sales suffered a bit due to lockdowns in urban centres, but now with the easing of restrictions, demand is expected to recover.
“Moving forward with educational institutions expected to open up, we are confident that scooter demand would start coming in and the segment would have a fair share of contribution to the two-wheeler industry, which used to be 30 percent or so.
“It will come up to that level and go even further up, that’s what we expect,” Guleria stated.
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