June 29, 2016 6:12:19 pm
Women seem to be buying Honda Navi – the unconventional motorcycle-scooter crossover – in quite sizeable numbers. Over 25 per cent of Navi’s bought during the last two months since its launch have been by women. Now Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) is targeting to sell one lakh units of this two-wheeler during the financial year 2016-17.
“Navi is having the youngest user profile among all our 17 product portfolio, i.e the age group of 18-24… For the financial year 2017 we have doubled our internal target from the earlier 50,000 units annually. Now we plan to sell one lakh units. This doubling of the target shows the response the product is getting and it is just limited to 35 towns. We are yet to go pan-India,” said YS Guleria, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, HMSI said Wednesday when Keita Muramatsu, President & CEO of the company inaugurated the second assembly line at its “scooter-only” plant at Vithalapur, located about 80 kilometers from Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
Stating that Navi has already sold over 10,000 units since its launch, 25 per cent being women, Guleria said, “It gives women a high of riding a bike. By August or mid-September, we will go pan-India for Navi.”
Greater Mumbai has emerged as the biggest region that has seen Navi clocking the maximum sales. “The sales of Navi in Gujarat began three weeks ago in Ahmedabad, while it has just been a fortnight for centres like Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara. It is too early to say anything about the customer trends in Gujarat,” he added.
Officials said that 48 per cent of the customers were buying the customisation kits that come along with the two-wheeler and the colours largely preferred are red, green and orange.
Fastest capacity addition in Gujarat
Though HMSI officials said that the production of Navi will be restricted to the Tapukara plant in Rajasthan, the capacity addition for scooters at Vithalapur in Gujarat will see HMSI cross 50 lakh annual sales milestone for the first time in a single financial year during 2016-17.
“India is not only the world’s number one two-wheeler market, but is also going to be the number one contributor to Honda global two-wheeler sales for the first time in this fiscal 2016-17. Honda two-wheelers sold a total of 17 million units globally during 2015-16, of which 27 percent came from India. We expect India to overtake Indonesia in 2017,” said Muramatsu while addressing mediapersons at the plant premises.
“This plant in Gujarat started operations in February 2016 with an initially capacity of six lakh Activas and Dio. In just four months, the second line of additional six lakh annual capacity starts operations today making this the fastest ever capacity creation by HMSI,” the CEO added.
The company hopes to attain full production capacity of 12 lakh vehicles at this plant by September and clear the back-log for Honda Activa in the market. “At the end of March 31, 2016 we had a back-order of 35,000 per month which we managed to bring it down to 25,000 units. Before the festive season begins we are expecting to clear this backlog through this capacity addition at Vithalapur,” Guleria added. The plant currently produces 1600 Honda Activa and 600 Honda Dio daily. The second assembly line will cater only to Activas.
HMSI and its 23 vendors have together invested close to Rs 2,200 crore at Vithalapur. This plant employes over 4000 persons about 60 percent of whom are from Gujarat, officials added.
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