Companies

Honda Motorcycle bets on first-mover advantage in shift to BS-VI norms

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on December 18, 2019 Published on December 18, 2019

YS Guleria, Senior Vice-President – Sales and Marketing

Despite market slowdown, bookings for new BS-VI compliant Activa 125 are encouraging, says Senior V-P Sales

Even as two-wheeler makers are preparing for transition to BS-VI norms, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India (HMSI) seeks to have the first-mover advantage through a clear strategy and early transition to the new emission regime.

Though the festival season gave some respite by way of better demand, the momentum didn’t last for long as the sales of bikes and scooters continued to drop and the manufacturers had to cut inventories.

Meanwhile, the industry expects some pre-buying to happen as the prices of vehicles will go up by at least 10 per cent.

While many two-wheeler companies such as Hero, TVS and Yamaha have started introducing BS-VI version of their products, HMSI appears to be leading in the shift to the BS-VI regime.

“We were the first to launch BS-VI products and start sale of the same in the market. We launched our BS-VI-compliant Activa 125 in September and followed it with BS-VI motorcycle SP 125,” YS Guleria, Senior Vice-President – Sales and Marketing, HMSI, told BusinessLine.

He said HMSI plans to complete its BS-VI transition before the deadline.

HMSI has worked out a clear strategy to make its BS-VI products appealing to customers despite the likely price increase of 10-15 per cent for its vehicles.

The company has also used the opportunity to upgrade its products thereby promising more value for money.

“We aimed to provide a lot of value and industry-first features in our BS-VI products. The new Activa 125 BS-VI has 26 new patent applications, while SP 125 BS-VI has 19 new patent application. New features such as silent-start system, technology for higher mileage etc are all acknowledged by our customers,” said Guleria.

Meanwhile, about 90 per cent of its 1,000-plus dealers are reported to have started selling the new Activa. According to its internal tests, there was no issue in the performance of the product.

“The company is not despatching its BS-IV Activa anymore. There is no stock with us at the factory. It is only BS-VI versions and we are satisfied that we are getting a lot of bookings for the new Activa 125 despite the market slowdown,” said Guleria.

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Published on December 18, 2019
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