Honda Motorcycle Scooter India, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Honda Motor Company, Japan, will launch a slew of high-power premium bikes in India, the first of which will debut by March next year, according to company executives.
The company is considering the international best-seller CBR 1000 RR for the Indian market. This bike is expected to carry a price tag of more than Rs 12 lakh (Rs 1.2 milion) as it will be imported directly from its sole manufacturing base in Japan.
HMSI is the latest international two-wheeler company, after Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Triumph, Harley Davidson, KTM, Ducati and MV Augusta, that have either launched premium bikes or are in the final stages on introducing them in the local market.
Premium bikes have attracted a huge customer base in a short span of time, although they cater to an elite class of buyers. Yamaha, which launched the YZF R1 and MT01 last December, has already sold the annual quota in less than 3 months. Both the bikes are priced upwards of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million).
Naresh Rattan, divisional head - sales and marketing, HMSI, said, "We aspire to be in all segments of the two-wheeler category by 2010. This will include the 100-cc bike and a few super bikes which are also referred to as 'fun bikes'. These super bikes will be imported into India and sold by the end of the financial year."
Rattan spoke on the sidelines of a press conference organised for the launch of CBF Stunner, a 125cc bike, in Mumbai. The bike is priced in the range of Rs 50,000-Rs 55,000 (ex-showroom Mumbai) and the company hopes to sell about 80,000 units by the end of this financial year. This will be the company's second offering in the 125cc (executive) segment, after Shine.
The company sells six products, including Unicorn, Shine, Activa, Dio, Eterno and Aviator, and plans to launch another mass market product by the end of this year. The company executives declined to divulge any details. HMSI has a market share of 11 per cent and aims to enhance it to 15 per cent by 2010.
It enjoys almost 60 per cent market share in the scooter segment, with four models, and competes for space with Hero Honda's Pleasure, TVS Scooty, Bajaj's Krystal and Kinetic Blaze, Flyte.
"We are strong in the scooter segment, which grew by more than 11 per cent last year, and will look at further strengthening our place. We are targeting sales of 10 lakh units by the end of this financial year, out of which 700,000 will be scooters and the remaining will be motorcycles", added Rattan.
The company sold about 871,000 units in the last financial year, a growth of 26 per cent over the same period in the earlier year.