Honda Motorcycles planning 4th manufacturing plant in India
The Japanese two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycles & Scooters India (HMSI) which has also become the country's second largest two-wheeler maker after overtaking Bajaj recently, is now reportedly looking for a suitable location to set up its fourth manufacturing facility to ramp up production.
Honda on Wednesday launched a new 110cc motorcycle 'Dream Neo' in the volume-driven commuter segment, priced at Rs 43,150 (ex-showroom, Delhi), making it the firm's cheapest two-wheeler in the country. The bike is pitted directly against its former JV partner Hero’s best selling Splendor brand.
The report in The Economic Times quoted HMSI Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Y S Guleria as saying "We are looking for a new site. We are studying various options and talking to different states." According to him, Honda is also exploring possibilities across the country for setting up its fourth plant but has not yet finalised any location to set up the new facility. "Once our study is complete, only then we will announce something," he said.
HMSI is investing Rs 1,500 crore in setting up of its third plant in Karnataka, which will take the company's total production capacity to 40 lakh units a year. The company has two facilities at Manesar in Haryana and Tapukara in Rajasthan with an annual output of 16 lakh units and 12 lakh units respectively. "Our third plant will be operational by the end of May this year. Once we start production there, we will see how we can expand the production of our existing plants," HMSI President and CEO Keita Muramatsu said.
It can be recalled that Honda has plans to become No 1 two-wheeler maker in India by 2015-16 if the current market slowdown prolonged, much ahead of its earlier target of becoming the numero uno two-wheeler maker in India by 2020.