Japanese automobile major Honda Motor Company (HMC) today said it could become the number one two-wheeler manufacturer in the country over the next three years, if the slowdown persisted.
Shinji Aoyama, operating officer (motorcycle operations), said, “The current market size (for two-wheelers) in India is 14 million units. If it remains the same, (with) no growth happening, we might become number one by 2015-16.
But once growth happens, Hero and Bajaj have more capacity and room to produce at the present condition. They have an advantage in that connection but a lot depends upon the market conditions.”
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) currently has annual production capacity of 2.8 million units across its two manufacturing units at Manesar (Haryana) and Tapukara (Rajasthan). The company is set to commission its third facility at Narsapuram, Karnataka in the first quarter of the next financial year which would bring in added capacity of 1.2 million units. Aoyama informed that the company is scouting locations for a new facility.
Former partner Hero MotorCorp has production capacity of seven million units across its three facilities in Haryana and Uttarakhand and is now investing around Rs 1500 crore to put in place two new units to take increase overall capacity to nine million units over the next few years.
To increase its footprint in the motorcycle market HMSI is additionally working closely with engineers from its parent company at its Technical Centre in Manesar to introduce one new product every quarter in the Indian market. “When we separated from Hero, we were quite sure that we can take Indian consumers more in terms of market share as they are confident about Honda product and technology and products sold under Honda name”, Aoyama said.