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Business News/ Industry / Manufacturing/  Honda Motorcycle exploring possibility of exporting H'ness CB350 to various global markets

NEW DELHI : Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is exploring the possibility of exporting its mid-sized premium bike H'ness CB350 to various markets across the globe even as it works to cater to the robust demand for the model in the domestic market, a senior company official said.

The company rolls out the bike with over 90% localisation from its Manesar (Haryana) based manufacturing facility. HMSI had introduced the bike in October 2020 and has already crossed 10,000 sales mark in February this year in the domestic market.

"Since this model is already meeting the European regulations, there are many countries where this model could be exported. So we are in discussion with our headquarters. Already the model is three months old in the domestic market and there is interest from other Honda companies across the globe," HMSI Director (Sales and Marketing) Yadvinder Singh Guleria told PTI in an interaction.

Terming it "one model which is Made in India for the world", he noted that the company is currently focusing at catering to the bookings which have already come in for the bike in the domestic market.

"We are working at the backend now to minimise this waiting period. But for sure this is one model which is Made in India for the world. There is a big potential. We are waiting and once we get a green signal from headquarters in Japan, we can start the exports. Potential does exist and we are quite hopeful," Guleria said.

When asked to comment on HMSI's overall plans regarding the premium bike segment, he said the company is looking to expand its product portfolio in a stepwise manner in sync with addition of exclusive sales network.

The company, which currently sells four bikes in the premium segment, plans to bring in 300 cc and above models while expanding its BigWing sales network in the country.

"Our study says there is big potential that exists for us in this segment. It also says that we can have fair business volume which could make our exclusive BigWing network to be viable and sustainable," Guleria said.

Moving ahead it is not only the network, there will be a product range which is going to be expanded in a stepwise manner, he added.

The company currently sells its premium bike range from two kinds of sale outlets, the BigWing Topline and BigWing. The BigWing Topline retails the entire premium range -- Africa Twins, CBR 1000 RR, H'ness CB350 and newly launched CB 350 RS.

The BigWing outlets on the other hand sell only mid-sized bikes (up to 500 cc)-- H'ness CB350 and CB 350 RS.

HMSI plans to have around 50 such dealerships across big cities and smaller towns by the end of this year.

When asked about the new product launches, Guleria said: "Certainly, we have plans to expand the portfolio, especially the mid-sized bike segment looks promising."

He noted that the company had been carefully watching and studying the mid-sized bike segment for a couple of years and it sees a large potential in the years to come in terms of volumes.

"We could also identify that there were some gap areas in terms of customer expectations which we can include in the new product development and that is how we went ahead with H'ness CB350 and it has received great response in the market," Guleria said.

He noted that CB 350 RS uses the same platform as H'ness CB350 but with altogether different characteristics and styling "we hope to bring in a separate set of customers with this product especially youngsters and people looking for something which can meet their lifestyle and weekend drives in the urban settings."

He said that the initial response for the bike has been on target, but the real picture would be clear only after the product delivery begins in early March.

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Updated: 28 Feb 2021, 12:48 PM IST
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