Honda Motorcycle and Scooter announces price cut

March 3rd, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

Chennai, March 3 (IANS) Even as the country’s major two-wheeler companies demand further cut in excise duty, the Gurgaon-based Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) has decided to reduce the prices of its models, said a top official. Passing on to the customer the benefit of four percent excise duty cut, announced by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in his Feb 29 budget speech, HMSI has decided to cut the prices across its motorcycle and scooter models by Rs.800-Rs.1600, N.K. Rattan, divisional head-sales and marketing, told reporters here Monday.

Launching Aviator, the company’s latest premium scooter model, he said this fiscal HMSI would reach a turnover of Rs.30 billion ($742.76 million) selling 880,000 units (610,000 scooters and 270,000 motorcycles).

“Our target for next fiscal is one million units with a sales mix of 700,000 scooters and 300,000 motorcycles,” said Shinji Aoyama, president and chief executive officer of the company.

The company is targeting 100,000 units of Aviator sales next fiscal.

The 102cc automatic geared scooter comes in two variants - standard (with drum brake) and deluxe with sporting disc brake - and is available in five colours - Rebel Red Metallic, Berry Purple Metallic, Space Silver Metallic, Monsoon ray Metallic and Pearl Igneous Black.

The vehicle is priced between Rs.43,000-Rs.47,000 band.

According to Rattan, “There is a decline in the sales of 100cc bikes while we are experiencing good growth both in the motorcycle and scooter segment.”

HMSI product portfolio consists of four scooters (Activa, Dio, Eterno and Aviator) and two motorcycles (Unicorn and Shine).

He added that banks and other institutions had no problems in lending for purchase of higher-powered bikes - 125cc and above.

HMSI sells around 17,000 units of Shine and 9,000 units of Unicorn every month.

According to him, the arrival of small cars priced at Rs.100,000 will not affect high powered two wheeler sales.

“The on-road price of Tata Nano will be around Rs.130,000, which is two/three times of the price of a motorcycle. Further, there is the issue of mileage and rising fuel cost. The demand for two wheelers will be there,” he argued.

Rattan said: “The 100cc segment is nearly 50 percent of the total two wheeler market. HMSI would surely enter this segment.”

Aoyama said the company would launch a new motorcycle during the first half of the next fiscal while declining to elaborate on the model specifications.

In order to expand its distribution network, HMSI will add 40 more main dealers to its existing number of 300.

“Our main dealers have sales branches. Taking the branches into account, our total sales network now is around 500 outlets and this would go up to around 650 soon,” Rattan said.

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