Honda 2Wheelers India’s third scooter assembly line at Gujarat plant goes on stream

New line adds 650,000 units manufacturing capacity to the state-of-the-art Vithalapur facility, which is Honda’s largest scooter-only plant in the world.

By Ajit Dalvi & Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 08 Jan 2024 Views icon6102 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
L-R:  Naveen Awal, Director, Production HMSI; Tsutsumu Otani, President, MD & CEO, HMSI; Hiroshi Tokutake, EVP, Asian Honda Motor Co and Takahiro Honda, Director & Chief Production Officer, HMSI.

L-R: Naveen Awal, Director, Production HMSI; Tsutsumu Otani, President, MD & CEO, HMSI; Hiroshi Tokutake, EVP, Asian Honda Motor Co and Takahiro Honda, Director & Chief Production Officer, HMSI.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has inaugurated its new and third assembly line at its fourth two-wheeler plant at Vithalapur in Gujarat, adding a capacity of 650,000 units pe annum. HMSI’s state-of-the-art Vithalapur facility is Honda’s largest scooter-only plant in the world. The inauguration took place on January 5. 

Honda’s best-selling two-wheeler and India’s best-selling scooter – the Activa – and other scooter models like the Dio, Activa 125 and Dio 125 are manufactured at the Vithalapur facility. HMSI’s Gujarat plant also has a dedicated engine line that serves as a base to manufacture global engines (for 250cc-and-above category two-wheelers) to cater to overseas demand from markets like Thailand, US, Europe and Japan. India is one of the most important production bases for Honda globally in two-wheeler manufacturing capacity.

Vithallapur plant capacity expands to 1.85 million units 

HMSI began production at its Gujarat plant in February 2016 with its first assembly line and an annual production capacity of 600,000 units. Barely four months later, in June 206, it kicked off operations at the second assembly line with a similar 600,000 units capacity per annum. With the addition of 650,000 units capacity, the Vithalapur plant’s capacity now stands expanded to 1.85 million units and HMSI’s total capacity across four plants to 7.05 million units per annum.

Plant 1: Manesar (Haryana) - 1.6 million units
Plant 2: Tapukara (Rajasthan) - 1.2 million units
Plant 3: Kolar (Karnataka) - 2.4 million units
Plant 4: Vithalapur (Gujarat) - 1.85 million units

Tsutsumu Otani, President, MD and CEO, HMSI, said: “To serve customers more efficiently with speed, undertaking this capacity expansion plan will increase HMSI’s total annual production volumes significantly. HMSI’s Gujarat plant produces scooter models for domestic as well as export markets which will help us to continue leading the trend of scooterisation not just in India but across the globe.” 

This expansion at the Vithalapur plant is created additional employment opportunities and HMSI plans to increase the number of female workforce in the manufacturing area. The company states that it has undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure the well-being of its female workforce, including infrastructure development like restrooms, creche, female security guards, medical staff and supervisors.

Since the Vithalapur plant’s inauguration, HMSI has undertaken various CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. The company is also actively working towards its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 at the Gujarat plant. It currently uses 75% electrical power from renewable energy source (wind and solar power), utilises rainwater harvesting and is a zero liquid discharge and zero waste to landfill manufacturing facility. 

HMSI sells 4 million units in CY2023, down 4% YoY

Honda, like most other two-wheeler manufacturers, had felt the heat of slowed-down sales in the first half of CY2023. While demand for entry-level commuter motorcycles as well as scooters returned just as the festive season kicked in from September, rural sales have also been on the upswing. This is reflected in HMSI's monthly sales performance. From August onwards, wholesales crossed the 420,000 units mark for four months on the trot, dropping to 286,101 units in December, which is typically a month when buyers defer new vehicle purchases / registrations to the new year. 

 

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