Karnataka plant is now Honda’s largest for two-wheelers

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on January 09, 2018

All smiles Shinji Aoyama, President and CEO of Asian Honda Motor, and Minoru Kato, President and CEO, Honda Motor Cycle and Scooter India, at the commissioning of Honda’s fourth assembly line at its Narsapura two-wheeler plant in Karnataka’s Kolar district on Wednesday   -  SOMASHEKAR GRN

An inside view of the plant   -  BL

Japanese major expands Narsapura unit, may make it an export hub

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Honda Motorcycle Company in Japan, has expanded its Narsapura plant, making it the company’s biggest two-wheeler plant. The company is also looking at making it an export hub.

The Japanese automobile major also indicated that it will look at setting up a new plant in 2020, but only after it finishes all the compliance formalities for BS-VI emission norms, the Indian equivalent of the Euro-VI norms followed globally.

Further, the Narsapur plant, which is located near Kolar in Karnataka, will be its largest manufacturing plant in the country, with a capacity to produce 24 lakh two-wheelers. Additionally, India becomes the largest production base for Honda worldwide, with a total capacity to manufacture 64 lakh units, outstripping the company’s Indonesian manufacturing facility, with a capacity to manufacture 58 lakh vehicles.

For fiscal 2018, Honda plans to add another 10 lakh two-wheelers, in line with what it achieved in the last fiscal.

Minoru Kato, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said that with India contributing 30 per cent of the overall global two-wheeler sales, this is a start of a new aggressive plan to capture the top spot.

“The Narsapur plant with its production capacity of 24 lakh two-wheelers will also make India the top production base for Honda globally,” he added.

The company is the second largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the country, behind Hero MotoCorp.

Largest market

India recently overtook China as the world’s biggest market for two-wheelers. According to SIAM data, 17.7 million two-wheelers were sold in India last year, in comparison to 16.8 million sold in China.

Further, the Japanese major, along with its suppliers, has invested ₹5,400 crore in the Karnataka plant, according to company executives. The plant could add 22,000 direct and indirect jobs, Honda added.

To put it in perspective, Honda’s growth of 19 per cent is more than twice the growth rate of two-wheelers in India.

Plenty of suppliers

One of the reasons for investments in Karnataka, according to Shinji Aoyama, Chief Officer, Regional Operations - Asia and Oceania region, is the wide availability of suppliers in the region.

Honda procures components from 26 new suppliers in Karnataka.

Published on August 02, 2017

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