Chennai: In an effort to seize a bigger chunk of rural demand which presently finds its lowest priced mannequin CD110 too costly, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has kicked off ‘investigations’ to come out with a 100 cc bike that may seize rural commuter shoppers in bigger numbers, said HMSI’s new MD, president & CEO Atsushi Ogata.
This is a departure from the city and premium focus of HMSI which made it distinct from its former associate and now arch rival Hero Motocorp.
“Our CD110 is a strong model but we realised there is a price gap with competition and some rural customers cannot purchase our product because it is expensive,” said Ogata. CD110 is roughly Rs 11,000 pricier than the competitor Hero Motocorp’s Splendor Plus. “We have now started investigation on a 100 cc motorcycle that will help capture volume sales from customers and our internal teams, local R&D teams as well as the product development team in Japan are aly working on it. Aly Tier 1 suppliers and local suppliers are on it and soon there will be a product from us for this segment,” he added.
The entry level push comes together with different classes that HMSI is concentrating on the place it presently has no presence. “We have aly invested a lot going into new categories where we have never been playing in the past,” said Ogata. “This includes bigger displacement and sportier products which will come to India soon.”
The aggression to take on Hero Motocorp in what’s its b butter and jam segment comes from Honda’s realisation that India is the one market the place it doesn’t have a dominant marketshare footprint. “In all of Asia-Oceania and Asean, the Honda presence may be very sturdy — round 80% earlier than the Covid outbreak — however in India we shouldn’t have the identical momentum,” said Ogata.
This also comes at a time when HMSI’s core business of scooters is facing some road blocks with urban demand stalling. Scooters currently comprise 66%-67% of HMSI sales and rural contribution in both scooters and motorcycles went up by 4% in the April-July period.