Honda is the world’s largest
manufacturer of two wheelers. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.
(HMSI ), a 100 pc subsidiary of Honda Motor Company Ltd., Japan , was created in
1999, after splitting with erstwhile partners Hero. It is now the second
largest two-wheeler company in India after Hero MotoCorp. The Indian company
also contributes around 25pc towards Honda’s global sales of around 18 million
Interview with Yadvinder Singh Guleria,
Senior Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India
Yours is the
only two wheeler company that has such a huge presence in the scooter market in
India. With more than 3 million units sold in the 2014-15 fiscal, do you think
that HMSI will always be a scooter maker largely as compared to being a motorcycle
manufacturer? Do you see the ratio tilting towards the bike segment in years to
us, as our name - at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. suggests, our
priorities lie equally in delivering the best products to our customers, be it
an ATSC (automatic scooter), or a motorcycle.
true that Activa has been our most popular product in India, and its sale is
soon to cross 10 million units since its launch in 2001. Today, Honda has the market
share of 56% in the ATSC segment which is growing at 2.5 times the industry
growth. We estimate that this trend of increased acceptance of automatic
scooters shall continue and we will continue to cater to the demand of the
far as overall brand is concerned, we have 60% of business coming from scooters
and 40% from motorcycles and most of it is contributed by 125cc and 150cc
motorcycles. In motorcycle segment, Honda has been making new records through
active sales. CB Shine became the first 125cc motorcycle in India to sell 30
lacs units. We recently gave
the legacy of Unicorn a fresh impetus by bringing in the new CB Unicorn 160, a
benchmark in performance motorcycles.
view of above, it won’t be inappropriate to mention that Honda will be driving
growth in both segments!
has performed much better in the 110cc to 125 cc motorcycle segment as compared
to the less than 110cc segment. Is this an indication of the Indian motorcycle
market getting to grow beyond the commuter mass segment?
to SIAM, 49pc of the sales are still contributed by 110cc segment motorcycle.
However, the mid-segment is starting to see traction after a long-time, and
hence we will be focusing our energies across both the segments.
Can you throw some
light on the R&D activities your company undertakes in India and do we
still get a lot of inputs from your global office in Japan?
Honda R&D is operating as separate entity across all 2Wheeler, 4Wheeler
& power product divisions globally. Undertaking a major paradigm shift, the
New Technical Center was the first step taken by Honda towards a new form of
global operations which was launched in 2013. Honda’s Technical Center at
Manesar combines integrated system of DEBQ (Design, Engineering, BOP/Purchasing
and Quality) under one roof to create a globally optimal operating system that
advances local development of higher quality product at low cost. It houses the
advanced Wind Tunnel facility which simulates real world air flow situation to
monitor aerodynamics and its effect on models to develop truly fuel efficient
two-wheelers. The facility’s engineering and styling design also incorporates
benchmark equipment like chassis dynamo, bench dynamo, layout machines, SEM
How do you perceive
India as an export hub? Is there a big scope for such an activity?
is already the World’s largest two-wheeler company, producing two-wheelers at
33 plants in 22 countries. These are individual subsidiaries which are present
and operating in various other countries/ international markets. With India
being world’s largest two-wheeler market, the immediate priority for Honda
is to meet
demand of this
huge domestic market. Although all our three factories are
running at full capacity, we are still long way from meeting domestic
demand. As we increase our capacity, we
hope to increase our exports too in future which will be 10% of our total
Till the 250cc engine capacity range, your bikes are well accepted in the
Indian market. But the situation is a bit sad when it comes to super bikes. Why
is this so?
Super bikes is
still a niche segment, and we have a few iconic offerings in this segment as
well. This segment will receive a major fillip from Honda with the impending
launch the CBR 650F. This bike would be a ‘Make-in-India’ initiative. The
number of inquiries we have been receiving about this bike has been phenomenal.
Like we have done for all other segments, we are confident that with CBR 650F,
Honda will redefine the Super Bike segment as well.
We had also
recently marked the 40 years of iconic Honda Goldwing by launching it in India.
By this, we will not only open up the skill of our existing manpower but it
will also showcase the Honda India's manufacturing quality to the world.
Through the CBR650F, we hope to bring the big-bike riding experience within the
reach of a larger enthusiast audience.
Lastly, yours is a
company in a hurry, perhaps to prove a point that it is the best. How soon before
it becomes the No. 1 player in India?
The biggest gratification for Honda comes
from customers itself. We are motivated by the trust placed on us by our 20
million plus customers in India. We have a long term commitment to Indian
market and keeping that in purview, we are laying stress on bringing in huge
investments here. Apart from INR 1100 crores of investment in Gujarat plant, we
recently announced Rs 585 crore investment of our already existing plant in
Narsapura near Bangalore. 39% capacity will be increased by 4th plant in
Gujarat which is planned to be the “World’s largest only scooter plant"
and our current focus is to start the plant on time.