HMSI Commences Production in Tapukara Plant

Honda is trying to prove the brand in India by not only coming up with new models of bikes and scooters, but also by reducing its waiting period by which customers are really frustrated. Off late also, the company had officially announced a waiting period of 6 months for the Unicorn accounting to its huge demand in the Indian bike market.

The Unicorn which was launched way back in 2005 was the first bike  in India to boast the housing of  Mono Shock suspension at the rear.  This made the bike a huge success here. It is very comfortable for  long  drives and is neither stiff as well. The model’s prime competitors in  India are the Pulsar brand of  bikes and the Apache RTR series. The  bike became very popular as a powerful city commuter  pertaining to  its easy manoeuvrability in traffic.

The increase in waiting period is not only the case with the Unicorn,  but also with its scooter – Activa  and the CB Unicorn Dazzler as well.

HMSI’s most  popular selling scooter Activa comes with a waiting  period of four to five months for specific colours like white, gold and  metallic silver. However, basic colours like red and black have a  waiting period of one to two months, the official said.

With the case of CB Unicorn Dazzler, it currently has a waiting period of three to four months. While CB Unicorn Dazzler models in red and black colour are delivered after 30 days, customers looking for colours like metallic grey and gold need to wait for three months. HMSI has always been known for its long waiting period not only for its models but for its spares too.

To put an end to all these mess Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) has started production at its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan which was awaited for quite some time.The company has planned to begin production of only two of its products – Its flagship scooter Activa and the CB Twister. The intention of initially producing only these two models is to bring down the waiting period from the present 90 days to 15 – 20 days.

Mr. Naresh Kumar Rattan, Operating head – Sales & Marketing at HMSI said, “The Company expects to achieve the six-lakh production capacity of the plant by September this year.”

HMSI started production at the plant from the 11th of July and has so far dispatched 10,000 units of Activa and Unicorn in the domestic market. Mr. Rattan told Financial Chronicle that the plant is operating in two shifts, at present and scooters at Tapukara from September-October 2011 to July-August.

According to data provided by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Abbreviated as SIAM as it is popularly known) HMSI had 42.7 per cent market share in the scooter segment and a corresponding 7.1 per cent market share in motorcycle segment in the year 2010-2011. Als, it is to be noted that, Honda saw a sales growth of 1.53 per cent during the period of April-June 2011.

HMSI currently has a huge booking backlog of 2.6 laks units, out of which a major share of 40 per cent is occupied by Honda Activa and another 20 per cent by Honda CB Twister. Also according to Financial Chronicle, ‘The company is preponing the phase two of expansion of capacity to 12 lakh units per year by February-March 2012, as against earlier plan of expanding it in 2012-13.’

Once there appears to be a saturation of Activa and CB Twisters in the production and when it is capable of reducing its huge waiting period, the Tapukara plant will commence production of CB Unicorn and Honda Shine.

So, this is a great move by the Indian subsidiary of Japanese 2 wheelers maker Honda to create a better position among the Indian customers and to take the next step in increasing the market share out here.

What do you think will be the future prospects of opening this plant? Leave your thought in the form of words below.

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