One of India's leading two-wheeler manufacturers, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), has planned a number of new launches across a variety of categories to strengthen its grip on the domestic market as semiconductor availability keeps getting better. A motorcycle in the entry-level price range is one of the brand's next offerings. The Japanese behemoth intends to use this to challenge Hero MotoCorp's hegemony as the market leader for domestic two-wheelers.
Honda will unveil new motorcycles in the 160cc and 300-350cc classes as well as a brand-new 125cc scooter. These will take place throughout the course of the following year, according to a senior corporate executive. Atsushi Ogata, president, managing director, and CEO of HMSI, stated in a report by The Financial Express: "We are in the developmental stage with regards to the low-end motorcycle. We have to meet the new emission regulations for the next financial year. In the upper middle segment, we will have one in the 160cc segment. And we will also have a 125-scooter next year. Next year, we will also introduce a new model in the 300-350cc category.”
The business is also developing its first electric two-wheeler, which might be on sale in the next one to two years. HMSI is transitioning from the feasibility research stage to the development stage for its first EV. We previously discussed that HMSI will be working hand-in-hand with Honda Japan to develop electric two-wheelers for the Indian market, so we can surely expect to see something that will rival the likes of the Ather 450X and TVS i-Qube down the road.
Regarding its manufacturing capabilities, HMSI is likewise taking strategic actions. The company's Manesar plant, which is also its oldest in India, will serve as the main hub for its high-end and mid-capacity bikes. At the moment, eight motorcycles with 160cc engines or larger are assembled at Manesar, which has a maximum capacity of 400,000 units per year.
Ogata is generally optimistic about how HMSI will perform in the near future. He said in the same Financial Express article: “Since the start of this year, thanks to schools reopening and offices restarting, we could see very positive momentum even from rural areas. We are keeping good momentum compared with the last three years. We have the festive demand coming up and the chip shortage issue is getting better.”