Honda Cars India is expecting over 50 per cent jump in its sales in the North East region during 2013-14 even as the total four-wheeler market in the country is going through sharp decline in the recent months.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese car major Honda is increasing its focus in the eight states of the region and plans to expand its base aggressively in the coming months to tap the potential of this market.
"If we look at the current industry growth, which is negative since last several months, the NE region is still expected to post a double digit growth," Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Senior Vice=President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen told PTI.
The growth in the NE will be huge due to the fact that the automobile players are increasingly focusing on this market and it currently has a smaller base, he added.
When asked how much growth HCIL expects in this fiscal, Sen said: "The North East market is increasingly gaining significance for Honda as this market has lot of sales potential for hatchbacks and compact sedans...We are hoping more than 50 per cent jump in our sales in the region." On the models that are driving the company's growth in the region, he said small car Brio and sedans Amaze and City have highest demand.
The company has posted 26 per cent jump at 469 units during April-June quarter this year over the same period last year in the region.
During last fiscal, HCIL had sold a total of 73,483 units across the country.
Out of this, only 1,212 units were sold in the NE region.
Talking about the company's delearship expansion plans in the region, Sen said: "In next 18 months, we will be expanding our presence in the entire North East and will have new facilities coming up in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland."
The company, which opened its first dealership in this region at Guwahati in 2008, is currently present in Guwahati and Dibrugarh in Assan, and Gangtok in Sikkim.
Car sales in India fell for a record eighth month in a row in June with a dip of 9 per cent as economic slowdown and low consumer sentiments continue to hit demand.
The continuous decline in the automobile market prompted the industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to seek stimulus package from the government, similar to the one given during the 2008-09 downturn, in which excise duty on two-wheelers, small cars and commercial vehicles were reduced to 8 per cent.
With actual sales in the first quarter of this fiscal turning out to be wide off the mark from what it had forecast in April, SIAM stayed away from revising sales projections it had made in April this year and stated that even those targets were unlikely to be met, except in two-wheeler segment.