|After taking over as Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India’s President and CEO, Minoru Kato has set an ambitious target of 20 per cent growth for the current financial year as the company looks to expand capacity with growing demand.|
In his first public speech since assuming new role as the President & CEO, Minoru Kato announced the biggest strategy shift in Honda’s business direction. Talking to media in Mumbai, Kato said, “Despite the challenging second half of FY-17, Honda 2Wheelers India has grown more than double the growth of the industry. Fastest ever scale up to 5 million units annual sale in the history of Indian two-wheeler industry has given us a strong foundation for challenging our next big leap to 6 million.”
The company will be spending ₹1,600 crore in a new production line, which will increase Honda 2Wheelers India’s capacity by six lakh units to touch an overall capacity of 2.4 million units.
In 2016, Honda 2Wheelers India became the Number 1 contributor to Honda’s global two-wheeler business, Kotu said.
With replacement period of two-wheelers coming down to five-seven years, Honda’s existing customer base of 30 million will drive new opportunities of growth, the company said.
Honda, therefore, plans to innovate with new ways of engaging customers starting from the ground that is, network.
The company also announced a new organisation structure to manage transition into the BS-IV era.
Honda 2Wheelers said that it has set up a high-level BS-VI taskforce.
This task force is ‘cross functional’ from Sales, Engineering, R&D, Purchase and Quality and is working on the primary objective of strengthening quality, product planning with cost competitiveness.
Out of Honda’s 5,000 global patents, already 400 patents are registered in India. Noting that technology will be a key differentiator in near future as well as BS-VI emission norms implementation, Honda said it is now strengthening its Intellectual Property Rights in India with specialised IPR experts assigned to India for first time.
This team shall be working to protect and enhance Honda technology for its new product introduction in India.
Recently, Honda has already applied for a patent on “Low Rolling Resistance Tyres”. This technology has already been launched in two Honda motorcycle models - Livo and CB Shine SP.