As the new fiscal year began, so did the tenure of HMSI's new President and CEO, Minoru Kato. And not surprisingly, Kato has already laid out an aggressive plan for the company and keeping with Honda's ambitious targets from this market. But besides setting targets for HMSI, he did spring up a couple of surprises as well. Read on to know more.
- The sales target for FY2017-18 has been set at 6 million units. The company sold over 5 million units in the last fiscal. This ambitious target comes on the back of increased capacity of 6.4 million units for the current fiscal (up from 5.8 million units last year). HMSI's plant in Bengaluru currently has 3 assembly lines and will have one more by the end of July, hiking the total production capacity. The company will be investing close to ₹ 1,600 Crore in the current fiscal towards expansion and technology development. The company had invested ₹ 600 crore last fiscal and has now invested ₹ 7,800 crore since it began operations in India 18 years ago, in 1999.
- HMSI will be launching two brand new automatic scooters and two new motorcycle models this fiscal.
- The scooter segment is where Honda has dominance and it would like to retain the same by way of the launch of two new scooter models. In the last fiscal, Honda sold over 1.5 million models of the Activa alone, with total scooter sales of 3.5 million units.
- Kato confirmed that one of the new motorcycles will be the Honda Africa Twin with a dual-clutch transmission, and HMSI has already begun the trial production run for the same. Recently, Honda has also launched the 2017 models of its popular sportbike, the CBR 1000 RR aka the 'Fireblade' in India. As for the second all-new model, Y.S Guleria, Senior Vice President-Sales and Marketing, HMSI, said that we could expect a 'fun' motorcycle model!
- Honda will have 22 'Wing World' dealers across India for the sales and service of its high-performance bikes. The service for the high performance bikes will be taken care of by Honda directly. Although, the company is clear that its focus will remain on the mass market segments for the near future. Currently, Honda has two Wing World dealerships, one each in Delhi and Mumbai.
- Honda has also said it is ready to migrate to BS-VI emission norms, when they come into play in 2020. HMSI will be looking to become an export hub for the company's motorcycle operations worldwide after the BS-VI norms are implemented.
- Earlier in 2016, Honda brought the Navi, what it called as a 'disruptive' product in the market. While there is nothing to doubt that the Navi did much better than what was expected, Honda has gone on record to say that we can expect another such 'disruptive' scooter model in FY18. This has got us hooked on. We can't wait to see what Honda has up its sleeve.