Companies

Honda launches BS-VI Activa; says will revisit investments amid slowdown blues

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 12, 2019 Published on June 12, 2019

Representational image only

Further investments in production capacity in India will be re-evaulated

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) on Wednesday unveiled its first BS-VI compliant two-wheeler, the new Premium Activa 125, even as the company said it would reconsider manufacturing investments in India in light of the recent auto industry slump.

Minoru Kato, President and CEO, HMSI, said that while work on constructing a new line at the company’s Gujarat facility would continue, further investments in production capacity in India will be re-evaulated.

As Honda is reportedly working with Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki in Japan on electric motorcycles, Kato said that such a collaboration would be a good idea in India as well. However, he said that no concrete discussions have taken place yet.

The Activa has been a great performer for Honda over the years, helping the company consolidate its second position in two-wheelers behind erstwhile partner Hero Motocorp. The new Activa, apart from a cleaner engine, also comes with features such as silent start, an idling stop system that turns off the engine during brief halts, a front glove box, and a side-stand engine inhibitor.

BS-IV model

The new BS-VI Activa will go on sale towards the end of second quarter of 2019-2020. “Once we start the mass production of the Activa 125 BS-VI, there will not be any more production of the BS-IV (model),” company officials said.

Honda officials further said that the new BS-VI compliant vehicle pricing (expected to be at a 10-15 per cent increase) will affect sales. “In this transition period, there may be a slowdown. There may also be a preponement of buying of BS-IV before the final phase of closing it down,” officials stated.

However, Honda will continue to produce BS-IV for the export market, Kato said, adding that the exports currently stand at 5 per cent (presumably of production).

With regard to the government’s intent of a complete shift to electric vehicles (EVs) for two-wheelers below 150 cc by 2025, Kato echoed the rest of the two-wheeler industry’s sentiment. “As of today, we can say 2025 is too early to switch 100 per cent. We need to discuss with SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), and the government, to make a roadmap,” Kato said.

 

 

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Published on June 12, 2019
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