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Home >Companies >News >Mid-size bike sales to see rapid rise: Honda

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd (HMSI)—one of the newest entrants in the mid-size motorcycle segment— expects sustained demand for such premium motorcycles in the domestic market while it expands its product portfolio.

Last September, Honda announced its entry in the segment with the launch of the H’ness CB 350 model and is currently in the process of opening premium dealerships across the country.

Atsushi Ogata, managing director, president and chief executive, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said the mid-size motorcycle segment has been growing for the past several years and the company will expand its reach and product portfolio in the coming years.

“Honda has been a newcomer in this segment. We have big potential in the Indian market, not only in the big cities but also in rural because the income level there is increasing year after year. So, we have an optimistic forecast about the future. Therefore, we have the H’ness and RS models now, and one can expect that there will be expansion of the product lineup," said Ogata.

On Tuesday, Honda showcased its second product in the segment—the CB 350 RS, which will cost 1.96 lakh when it goes on sale in March.

The company also plans to export the motorcycle, though the initial focus will be on the Indian market.

With volume growth in commuter motorcycle segment, which dominates the Indian market, likely to taper off over the next few years, most manufacturers are taking steps to move up the value chain to grow profits and deepen their foothold.

The strict nationwide lockdown hit automobile sales including motorcycles in the fiscal first half.

The middle-weight motorcycle segment though recovered swiftly in the December quarter and analysts expect sales to grow in the next fiscal as well. Sales of entry-level motorcycles have however softened in the last couple of months.

“So far, our sales have been better than last year but still because of the pandemic, the economic situation is not so optimistic from our point. We should be more optimistic compared to last year but we should be careful as well and watch the actual demand region by region since the Indian market is huge. So, we need to monitor town by town and village by village carefully to make a precise plan," said Ogata.

Meanwhile, Honda is continuing with its plan to expand its network of premium dealerships.

Y.S. Guleria, director, sales and marketing, HMSI, said the company will focus on metro and tier-1 cities to open showrooms, eventually expanding into semi-urban and rural markets when volumes grow.

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