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Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) plans to launch their locally manufactured mid-weight motorcycles in India soon. The company aims to localize the manufacturing of its 500cc motorcycles to price it competitively over its rivals.
Honda has an exhaustive line-up of 500cc motorcycles that include the CB500X adventure tourer, CMX500 Rebel cruiser motorcycle, CBR500R fully-faired mid-weight sports bike, and the CB500F naked motorcycle. With the introduction of 500cc motorcycles to the Indian market, Honda aims to fill the gap between the CB300R and the CBR650R in its current line-up of premium motorcycles in the country.
Honda imports and sells the CBR1000RR Fireblade, the CB1000R, the Goldwing, and the Forza via the CBU route, and the CB300R, CBR650R, and Africa Twin come as completely knocked down units (CKD). The company now plans to produce a few premium motorcycles using locally sourced components.
The CKD and CBU motorcycles attract substantial taxes as compared to the domestically manufactured motorcycles. Manufacturing in India will help the company aggressively price their premium motorcycles. While Honda has not revealed which locally manufactured bike will be launched first, they have confirmed that it will be a mid-weight motorcycle.
Honda is not targeting a small percentage of localization on its premium bikes, and is considering 100 percent localization. This means integral components such as the frame, wheels, tyres, suspension, engine; among others will be made using components sourced from Indian vendors. Honda will have the leverage to price its premium motorcycles very aggressively, which is important in a price-sensitive market like ours.
The Japanese motorcycle and scooter manufacturer has proved its commitment towards Indian markets by expanding its premium motorcycle line-up with the launch of the 2020 Africa Twin Adventure Sport. The company has also added more of its ‘Big Wing' premium motorcycle dealerships across the country.
While Honda plans to localize its mid-capacity motorcycles, we wonder if the CB300R could receive the same enthusiasm in India? The naked motorcycle is brought in as a CKD unit and has done reasonably well, even though it carries a slightly higher pricing.
The CB300R is a well-made product and is priced at Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The company also confirms that CB300R is one of the major reasons why it's premium bike sales grew by 400 percent since 2019. With local production, the cost of the CB300R will drop significantly and will attract more buyers as well.
Thoughts About The Honda Locally Manufactured Premium Motorcycles Launch In India
Honda is a huge player in the two-wheeler segment In India. The brand has given the Indian market some of the best sellers in the country. The company plans to achieve 100% localization of its premium motorcycle will only make it that much more desirable. While we wait for an official confirmation of its first locally manufactured product in India, we certainly hope that it would be the CB500X Adventure motorcycle.