Honda rides into UP countryside

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is riding deeper in the countryside to drive growth.

The Japanese automotive has planned to open 500 sales and service points pan-India, to add to 2,000 outlets. Most would be launched in the semi-urban and rural pockets, an official said here today.

Of the 500 sales and service points, 100 would be in Uttar Pradesh, which the company has identified as its key market, given the large geography and population base.

"We have planned to increase the sales and service network in UP to 300 by the end of this fiscal. This would help us penetrate deeper in this huge market," HMSI division head (central) sale and marketing P Rajagopi told Business Standard.

He said over the last 10 years, Honda had consolidated its presence in the metros and big cities. Now, the focus was to strengthen its network in the smaller centres and rural areas.

Meanwhile, HMSI today unveiled its 110cc Dream Neo in the state market, thus expanding its 100-110 cc portfolio. This mass segment accounts for over 50 per cent of the domestic 2-wheeler market. Dream Neo carries price tag of over Rs 44,000 (ex-showroom) in Lucknow.

Honda aims to grow over 150 per cent in the 100-110 cc segment and targets growth of 43 per cent in the overall 2-wheeler space with sales of almost 4 million units in the current fiscal. "Until April 2013, we grew by about 29 per cent and are confiding of achieving our annual growth target of 43 per cent," Rajagopi underlined. He, however, acceded the automobile market sentiment had been down in India at present.