Jun 3, 2007

2 Expect a new scooter and 100 C.C Motorcycles from Honda soon..

"Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India ltd CEO, Mr. Yukihiro Aoshima speaks about the future plans of the Japanese Giant in India"

The excerpts from the interview published in "AutoMonitor" has been posted below (along with my comments)

HMSI CEO Yukihiro Aoshima, and Senior V.P, Shinji Aoyama
    Let us start with your plans for fiscal 2007-08.
    Yukihiro Aoshima:
    In the last financial year ending March 2007, we reached sales and production of 700,000 units and in the new fiscal we aim at 900,000 units. If possible, we would like to reach one million units. Once we reach one million, we would be considered one of the top groups in the two-wheeler segment. Today, we are fourth in the industry but far behind the top three — Hero Honda, Bajaj and TVS. This fiscal is going to be crucial to ascertain if we can go for our target.

    How do you plan to get to that number?
    Aoshima:
    We have two plants — the scooter unit can make 600,000 units and we can easily sell those numbers. However, our challenging area is motorcycle sales. Before we started this fiscal year, we made a few changes in our models including the Unicorn and Shine to pick up sales. We expect to reach sales of 300,000 motorcycles this year and together with 600,000 units of scooters, reach the 900,00 units mark that I have mentioned.

      We also need to set up more dealerships across the country to facilitate sales. Currently we have over 400 dealers including their branches. We want to increase that number to just under 700 outlets in this fiscal year. This is a very challenging task for us...


      What are your plans as far as scooters are concerned this year?
      Aoshima:
      For most of the year, we will compete with the same model line-up. However, we do plan on introducing some cosmetic changes into our current line up — Dio, Activa and Eterno. We will take necessary measures to ramp up scooter production and sales. Last fiscal, we produced and sold over 530,000 scooters. By the end of the fiscal, we will be launching a new scooter model.

    My Comment: "Scooters..??"


    My Comment: "After 6 years in India, the Mighty Honda is still behind our "Desi" Hero Honda, Bajaj, TVS..!!
    Its actually Bewildering..!!

      You had earlier announced your intention of getting into the 100cc motorcycle segment. What has been the progress on that?
      Aoyama:
      In the Indian market, an estimated sixty percent of the motorcycle market comprises 100cc bikes. So we cannot neglect that big segment. Bajaj announced their intention to exit this segment, but again, as per media reports, they would stay. So, naturally even they see potential in this segment.

      Traditionally, 100cc bikes have been practical, fuel-efficient, mileage conscious and durable. We are looking at something different because the tastes of the customer are changing drastically. Over the last three to four years, people have started looking at more international tastes. We want to give that international taste and fun driving experience, along with easy handling, stylish and sporty features to our customers. We will target younger buyers.

    My Comment: "100 C.C segment..?? Fair enough.. please go ahead. But Mr. Aoyama, Younger Buyers don't aspire for 100 C.C "economisers". It's the cash strapped bloke who does"


      Have you done a survey to understand what the Indian customer wants?
      Aoyama:
      As a company, we are already aware of what’s going on in the market and what people think. With our experience, we can predict, if you like, what is going to happen in the future, not only in India but also internationally. Our 100cc offering would be based on that experience. We will ensure that the new product increases Honda’s brand image in the market. And yes, we have commissioned a study which is on-going.

    My Comment: "Err.. can we talk something above 100 C.C..??"


      What are your plans for the high-end of the Bike segment considering the recent government announcement regarding import of such bikes?
      Aoyama:
      As long as the current import duty structure, at 113 percent, continues, the market will be limited. The retail price can be three times of the base price because of the import duty. That would not be easy.

    My Comment: "I always knew it..!!


      Is this a dampener for your business?
      Aoyama:
      I don’t think this would affect our business in the immediate future. But in the next five years, this can change. After 20 years, India would be one of the biggest markets for bigger bikes. Volume wise, the Indian market can get bigger than the American or European markets. But for that to happen, there are issues that need immediate attention. Road conditions, for example, need to improve.

    My Comment: "All I know is that in 20 years I'll be all Grey and Wrinkly"


      Honda is a strong brand in India, but product wise, it is the Activa scooter that most Indians relate to. Is that an area of concern?
      Aoshima:
      It is natural for people to relate with the Activa because that was the first product we launched in India. It has remained a successful product for us, and comes with many innovative features. Our cumulative Activa sales have crossed 1.5 million. I would say that the fact that the Activa is what most people associate with the Honda name is an area of concern because the image created by the scooter might not match the image of the motorcycle brand. This is because of the character of the vehicle.

      Worldwide, be it Europe or the US, Honda is present both in scooters and big Bike segments. So, as far as other markets are concerned, we have been successful. I am not saying it is easy to do the same in India, but we have to do that. That is our goal in India.

      In fact, HMSI is one of the quickest companies to reach that number. Image-wise, HMSI is not recognised as international. One of our recent surveys said the customers expect much more from us, including innovative products, the latest technologies and an international image. We recognise people’s expectations and the current position. We will endeavour to introduce such an image through products or through events.

    My Comment: "ZZZZZzzzzz... ZZZZZzzzzz..."


      Would you look at synergies between Hero Honda and HMSI in the retail or dealership front?
      Aoshima:
      Dealerships will continue to be separate. Actually, we once tried to use common vendors but with each supplier busy meeting their current demand, getting into new businesses becomes difficult.


    My Comment: "With Honda eyeing the 100 C.C segment, it should ring a few alarm bells for Hero Honda"


      In terms of technology, last year we saw Hero Honda introducing the FI technology in Glamour. What can we expect from HMSI in the two products you plan to introduce this fiscal?
      Aoyama:
      The FI technology Hero Honda introduced is only one of the many technologies we have pioneered. But the way we can differentiate in terms of technology would be through mass production technologies which provide the highest quality products with the least defects. That is something that is going to make us feel proud. Production related technologies are the most difficult to realise. The FI technology, which we have in European, US and Japanese markets, is an expensive technology. We have to introduce technologies that are affordable, and moreover are of the best quality.

    My Comment: "Affordable technologies..??
    Oh..!! I almost forgot.. India is after all a developing country.. Right..??


      Do you see any challenges on this front?
      Aoshima:
      We will gradually introduce the international Honda brand to India. The models that we will launch in India in the future will have an international image. In the six years that we have been selling Honda in India, we have sold over one million units, which is remarkable.

    My Comment: "After 6 years in India, the Mighty Honda is still behind our "Desi" Hero Honda, Bajaj, TVS..!!
    Its actually Bewildering..!!



    Read the Complete (also without my comments) Interview here..



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    Disclaimer:

    This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.




    2 Comments:

    first_synn said...

    Dear honda,

    Screw you.

    Regards,

    The Synner.

    arun said...

    Honda is all show no go.Because very
    indian bajaj took more interest to build better bikes ,I wish they had done this in 1990.Ialso wish if bajaj and vespa can join to drive soishiro honda back to grave , or make and sell pistons from honda casting factory

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