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Honda drives into commuter bike segment

autos Updated: May 16, 2012 00:04 IST
HT Correspondent

Japanese auto giant Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India on Tuesday made its first cut into the meat of the Indian motorcycle market, the commuter segment, with its 110cc ‘Dream Yuga’, sporting a price tag of Rs 44,642 (ex showroom Delhi).

The Yuga is Honda’s cheapest motorcycle globally, and the company said it would launch more products in the category in its bid to become India’s largest selling two-wheeler manufacturer by 2020.

Currently, HMSI is the third largest in India but has closed in on second-placed Bajaj Auto, thanks to its healthy presence in the fast-growing scooter segment. With the Yuga, it hopes to sell as many motorcycles as scooters in 2012-13.

“In last fiscal, Indian motorcycle and scooter business contributed 13% to Honda’s global two-wheeler revenue,” said Keita Muramatsu, president and CEO, HMSI. “We want this to go up to 30% by 2020 and remain on track to emerge as the largest two-wheeler manufacturer by then, not only in terms of sales and marketshare, but also quality and customer satisfaction."

In 2011-12, Honda sold a total of 19,96,320 two-wheelers in the domestic market, which stood at 13.4 million units. In 2012-13, it hopes to grow by 35% to 27 lakh units, with the Yuga contributing 3 lakh units.

“This is the cheapest bike that Honda has in its entire portfolio and is the first 110cc bike in India, targeting the the masses,” Muramatsu said.

The 100-110 cc segment accounts for 64% of all motorcycle sales in India. HMSI’s earlier 110cc bike, CB Twister, is priced between Rs 45,140 and Rs 51,175 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Hero MotoCorp’s entry-level motorcycles cost between R36,300 and R45,050. Bajaj’s Platina costs R38,493 and Discover Rs 44,497.

Honda said its next offerings in the segment may be cheaper. “There is a scope for more affordable and low-cost bikes in India,” Muramatsu said. “We may develop bikes for a segment lower than Dream Yuga.”