HMSI confirms 160cc bike for end-2014, CBR650F for Q4 FY2015-16

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), India’s second largest two-wheeler maker, has confirmed its plan of rolling out the 160cc premium commuter motorcycle by the end of the ongoing calendar year.

By Amit Panday calendar 17 Sep 2014 Views icon11031 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
HMSI confirms 160cc bike for end-2014, CBR650F for Q4 FY2015-16

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), India’s second largest two-wheeler maker, has confirmed its plan of rolling out the 160cc premium commuter motorcycle by the end of the ongoing calendar year. The said commuter bike is expected to play a crucial role for Honda in terms of finding a hold in the 150cc segment, wherein it will compete with segment bestsellers such as Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTS-i and Yamaha’s FZ bikes.

Further, the Indian subsidiary of this Japanese automobile giant has also confirmed rolling out its mid-segment sports bike, the CBR650F in Q4, FY2015-16. Expected to be one of the flagship bikes for HMSI, the liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder, 649cc CBR650F will be imported in the form of CKD kits and assembled locally. The company has, however, not finalised a plant for the said assembly operations. The model was displayed at the Auto Expo earlier this year.

In line with its strategy to ensure the company meets its ambitious sales target of 45 lakh units during FY2014-15, the premium commuter bike launch planned for end-2014 would only be another shot to boost its sales in the last quarter in the ongoing financial year. HMSI has reported sales of 17.6 lakh units in the first five months of FY2015, which means that the festive months of September and October would essentially play the key role going forward.

Talking to Autocar Professional, YS Guleria, vice-president, sales & marketing, HMSI, clarified that “September and October are crucial months for us and it’s time to step on the gas now. We should be able to cross the 400,000 unit sales mark this month (September 2014). We launched the most affordable bike, the CD 110 Dream recently to build this momentum for the festive season.” It is to be noted that the company sold close to 388,000 units during August 2014, and hopes to cross the 400,000 unit mark for the first time this month.

Also, it can be recalled that HMSI had sold close to 100,000 units on the festive Dhanteras day last year. This auspicious day is known for fetching maximum single-day sales for OEMs in India. In this context, Guleria added that “we hope to sell double of what we sold last year on the Dhanteras day, and we are working accordingly to not only stock our dealerships with products, but also on the advertisements, ATL and BTL activities to boost sales.”

The company is also fast signing agreements with several banks for attractive retail financing schemes. Last month, it entered into a tie-up with the Kangra Central Co-Op Bank in Himachal Pradesh and has just concluded an agreement with Punjab National Bank.

While it was recently reported that the commencement of operations at HMSI’s upcoming Gujarat plant has now been delayed for early 2016, Guleria clarified that “it is a two-month delay and it will not cause any stress on the production at the other three facilities in Manesar, Tapukara and Narsapura.”

“The biggest concept of having a plant in the west and south is to make the products closer to the markets, thereby reducing the delivery time, logistics costs, carbon footprints and several factors. The southern and western regions jointly comprise 60 percent of total market for us. The Narsapura plant, with an annual capacity of 1.8 million units, is not only the most modern and automated plant for us, but is also the largest two-wheeler plant in the world. It has rolled out over one million two-wheelers in its first year of operations,” he added.

Photograph: Liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder, 649cc CBR650F will be imported in the form of CKD kits and assembled locally.

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