Honda Plans Six New Launches For The Vibrant Indian Market

Buoyed by the distinction of being the largest market for Honda cars in its Asia and Oceania business region, Honda Motor Corporation has unfolded big plans for Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL), its Indian subsidiary. HCIL will make six big launches in the next three years to tap India’s unsaturated and vibrant market potential.
In the Asia-Oceania region, HCIL has all the markets except China, Japan and the Middle East. Sales in the region were at 724,000 units, about 15 percent of Honda’s global sales of about five million units. HCIL recorded a cumulative growth of over 17 percent from April to October 2017 selling 105,503 units compared to 90,422 units in the corresponding period last year. In 2016-17 the company sold 157,000 units in India.
Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India, said, “In our entire Asia-Oceania business region, India is the largest market for Honda, and is expected to increase its importance in Honda’s global operations in the future. As a measure to demonstrate our commitment to this market, we have an aggressive plan to make six big launches in the next three years.”
Sen said, while many matured markets, including some in Asia, have saturated, India’s potential for sale of its cars is more. India has huge potential as the car penetration per 1,000 population is less than 30, while it is in three digits in majority of Asian countries.To tap this potential to the full extent, it is necessary to have a good brand presence in India. The proposed new launches in the next three years are meant for this. The announcement was made at the recently-concluded Tokyo Motor Show.
Sen added that the markets that have saturated or having car penetration of more than 500 per 1,000 population will see sales only as replenishments and shared mobility, while India has huge potential for sale of new cars and the growth for passenger vehicle is inevitable. Quoting a recent study that India will get in to the middle-income bracket in about 20 years, he said, affordability will fuel growth in purchase of personal mobility. Therefore, HCIL is gearing up to launch six new products, which will be a combination of existing and new models, he added.
Commenting on the sales performance this year, Sen said, “HCIL is witnessing one of its fastest growth years in sales, backed by strong performance of our latest models Honda City and WR-V. The year 2017 has been very rewarding for the company as its best-selling premium sedan Honda City has sold seven lakh units since its introduction here in 1998. He claimed that it is the only premium sedan to achieve this feat. India being the largest and most important market for the Honda City, currently accounts for over 25 percent of the car’s worldwide sales. HCIL has a network of 348 facilities across 234 cities in the country. The dealership network has doubled in the last four years and the company has established presence in Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets. The company will be adding a few more sales outlets making its presence in 360 locations before the end of the current fiscal.
HCIL has two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh and Tapukara in Rajasthan, with a cumulative installed capacity of 240,000 units. The latter has potential to increase by another 60,000 units. However, utilisation level is around 50 percent. The Tapukara plant has also been exporting components to about 15 countries. In 2016-17 the company exported components worth Rs 1,140 crore. In addition to exporting safety and critical components such as crankshafts, con-rod, manual transmission and castings among others, the company has recently begun shipping its diesel engines to Thailand.
HCIL’s product range includes Honda Brio, Honda Jazz, Honda Amaze, Honda City, Honda WR-V, Honda BR-V and Honda CR-V. They are manufactured in India. The Accord Hybrid is being sold as a CBU imported from Thailand.

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