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Honda two-wheeler sales may touch 50L units by Q4
Despite a drastic dip in vehicle sales over the last two months due to demonetisation, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) remains unfazed.
It is hoping to cross the 50 lakh units annual sales mark this financial year. Having sold 44,83,835 units in 2015-16 and as many as 49,88,512 units in the calendar year 2016, it is hopeful of achieving its target over the next three months.
Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior VP (Sales & Marketing), HMSI, said post- demonetisation two-wheeler sales plummeted in December. “It was the lowest in the last 80 months. With a good harvest across India (but for exemptions like Tamil Nadu) and the harvest season fast approaching pan-India, we expect an increase in sales over the next few weeks,” he said.
Automated scooters are expected to be the key in the growth, especially in smaller towns and in the rural areas. “The condition of rural roads is improving. There is a record increase in the roads laid across the country. With increasing better roads the need for vehicles with big wheels (bikes) has increased. Increasing woman empowerment has facilitated need for scooters in rural areas as well,” he said.
He says automated scooters have become convenient for the aged as well and the unisex appeal of these vehicles has increasingly made it a family vehicle. “We have also been able to reduce the mileage gap as scooters are not able to give a mileage of up to 60 kms a litre. The demand for scooters is expected to go up,” he added.
To facilitate the aggressive sale, the company is aiming at increasing the number of sales and service outlets from 4,900 (at present) to 5,300 by the end of March this year. Focus will be in expanding to the semi-urban and rural areas. Stress is on to digitalise transactions for ease of business and to stay in pace with the changing times.
Stating that the full production capacity of the company’s four plants in Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat is 58 lakh units per annum, he said that this would help them meet the growing demand for the near future. In mid-2017, an additional unit in Karnataka will become operational and increase the full capacity production to 60 lakh units per annum.
On demonetisation Guleria said a slew of measures had been taken by them to stay ahead of competition. “Forty per cent of new two-wheeler sales were through financial institutions. Post demonetisation, it increased to 60 per cent,” he said, adding the company had spoken to banks and the cashless payment facilitation applications to reduce the rate of interest and down payment among other measures to enable sales.