Honda ramps up its India strategy with big Karnataka drive

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Chennai | Updated: June 23, 2016 8:40:41 AM

In an exclusive interaction with the FE here on Wednesday, YS Guleria, operating head and senior vice president (sales & marketing), said: “We are targeting 100% capacity utilisation in the current fiscal to 5.43 million units from last fiscal's 4.48 million units with a strong double digit growth.

India's second largest two-wheeler manufacturer Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has said that it has decided to ramp up the capacity at its Narsapura plant (near Bengaluru in Karnataka) from 1.8 million units per annum to 2.4 million units per annum, making it the company’s largest plant in India. (Reuters)India’s second largest two-wheeler manufacturer Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has said that it has decided to ramp up the capacity at its Narsapura plant (near Bengaluru in Karnataka) from 1.8 million units per annum to 2.4 million units per annum, making it the company’s largest plant in India. (Reuters)

India’s second largest two-wheeler manufacturer Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has said that it has decided to ramp up the capacity at its Narsapura plant (near Bengaluru in Karnataka) from 1.8 million units per annum to 2.4 million units per annum, making it the company’s largest plant in India.

In an exclusive interaction with the FE here on Wednesday, YS Guleria, operating head and senior vice president (sales & marketing), said: “We are targeting 100% capacity utilisation in the current fiscal to 5.43 million units from last fiscal’s 4.48 million units with a strong double digit growth. With the demand for our products growing, particularly in the southern markets, we will expand our Narsapura plant capacity by adding another assembly line sometime next year with an estimated investment of Rs 600 crore. Post this capacity ramp up, Narsapura plant will be the largest plant among our 4 plants in India.”

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The company has lined up two more scooters for the fiscal, he added. To a question, he said: “Though 150cc scooter segment in India is very small compared to global markets, however, given the growing aspiration towards this segment, Honda is gearing up to enter the 150cc scooter segment in due course of time.”

“We are aggressively ramping up our dealer outlets by adding 850 outlets to the current 5,400 in this fiscal. More than 70% of these outlets will be set up in semi-urban and rural areas as small towns and rural areas started contributing to our overall sales in a big way as compared to earlier. Nearly 15% our sales come from rural areas as compared to much lesser percentage earlier.”

Regarding customization demands, he said India was catching up with global markets, particularly Asean countries. “Honda will look at the opportunity to customise all its products in India with different kits package to suit customer’s choice at most competitive price points. We hope this step will give us an added advantage,” Guleria said.

On the export front, Guleria added that during the last fiscal the company exported 2 lakh units and this fiscal exports are expected to grow by 25%.

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