Honda India Power Products launches marine engines in India

Swaraj Baggonkar | Updated on: Mar 30, 2022
Honda Marine BF150

Honda Marine BF150

Depending on demand, the company will look at local production, which will help reduce end-cost

Honda India Power Products (HIPP), the manufacturer of power genset and lawn mowers, has entered the marine outboard segment with the launch of a range of 4-stroke motors suited to power boats. The exchange-listed entity could look to make India the hub for export of the range if demand from India continues to grow significantly.

The company will start retailing a minimum of 12 models of the motors in India from April. The smallest one offers a peak power output of 6PS while the biggest offering generates peak power of 250PS. While Honda is the global leader in 4-stroke outboard motors, India, which is mostly powered by 2-stroke engines, is dominated by Suzuki, Yamaha and Mercury. 

Speaking to BusinessLine, Takahiro Ueda, Chairman and Managing Director, President and CEO, Honda India Power Products, said, “The market size of India outboard motors annually is 10,000 units. But if you look at growth from 2010 to 2020, the India outboard market grew by nearly 260 per cent and in the same period the global outboard market grew by 140 per cent. We expect a similar kind of growth in the coming years.”

Outboard motors are used in maritime border security, taxi boat operations in tourism and leisure applications, and by workboat operators in commercial fishing. The market size of such motors is expected to rise to ₹1,400 crore which would further more than double in the next five years, as per Honda’s predictions. Honda is expecting to garner a minimum of 10 per cent market share in the 4-stroke outboard market in the next three years.

Local production

Honda India Power Products would initially rely on imports of the outboard motors from Japan. Depending on demand, the company would decide if local production needs to be explored which would also help in cutting down the end cost.

“At the initial stage we will be importing these engines from our main manufacturing plant in Japan. Depending on our business growth and the potential and India being a very competitive market in terms of parts and labour costs, we will make a decision on localising the products, but volumes are an essential part of that,” Ueda added.

HIPP has one production facility in India which is located at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The company’s first plant, however, came up in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, which was followed by one in Puducherry. The two plants were later consolidated into one factory to maximise efficiency. The annual production capacity of the Greater Noida plant is 3,50,000 units for all products.

When asked if India has the potential to become the production and export hub for outboard motors, Ueda said, “If there is a big potential for growth in India and if we have the cost competitiveness then certainly India has the potential to have outboard production here.”

Renewable energy

All of HIPP’s products are powered by petrol. Its US-based outfit sells electric products too. With the Indian government looking to bring down its dependence on fossil-fuels, Honda is also exploring the possibility of launching fully electric products in India.  

“We are constantly looking at the Indian market, usage conditions and penetration of electric infrastructure, especially in villages. When we believe that there is potential and feasibility, we will surely introduce those electric products here.

“We have lawn mowers, brush cutters, chainsaws on sale in the US which are powered by electricity. The usage conditions are quite different in India than in the US but we continue to study whether those products are suitable for India,” Ueda added.

Published on March 30, 2022
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