Japanese two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) on Thursday said it will launch at least four products every year in India as it looks to get the better of ex-partner Hero MotoCorp and become the largest player in the market. The company has also set up its first integrated R&D centre at Manesar, which will specifically develop two-wheelers for the country.
Within two years of its separation from the Munjals, Honda has made short work of TVS and Bajaj overtaking them in quick succession to become the second largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India.
“Our plan is to launch four products every year from this R&D centre,” said Keita Mura–matsu, president and CEO, HMSI. “As India becomes a global innovation hub for Honda, customers can look forward to new products faster.”
The new R&D centre along with HMSI technical centre currently has a strength of 200 engineers and developers. It will develop and launch both refreshed versions and new models of motorcycles and scooters from the centre. Honda is also setting up a third manufacturing facility in Karnataka, which will hire 2,000 people. To be operational from the first quarter of next fiscal year, the facility takes Honda’s overall production capacity to 4,000,000 two-wheelers per annum.
“The first of these products from this centre will hit the roads during the 2013-14 financial year,” said Yadvinder S Guleria, vice-president, (sales and marketing), HMSI.