Two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) aims to expand its bike portfolio in the country as it looks to bring in new set of customers from both rural and urban areas to its fold.
In an interview with PTI, HMSI's newly appointed President, CEO and Managing Director Atsushi Ogata said the company focuses to bring in entry-level affordable products for rural areas while strengthening its mid-segment range (above 150cc) as well as super bike portfolio to provide different set of customers.
The Japanese company, which dominates scooter segment in the country with products like Activa and Dio, is now looking to grow its footprint in rural areas with a new motorcycle which would sit below its CD 110 range, the company's most cheap bike at the moment.
The company's focus on filling the gaps in its portfolio to acquire more customers stems from the underlying fact that with the implementation of BS 6 emission norms, profitability on each model has come down, leading to its review of each model line.
"This issue (dip in profitability) is not only for HMSI, (but) for the entire industry. So therefore, we plan to review model by model profitability and try to change model mix itself to have profitable model mix," Ogata said.
The review would not impact the current models, but will look at filling the gaps in the portfolio to acquire all kinds of new customers, he added.
Notably the company currently lacks entry level motorcycle which could compete with the competitors.
"As of now, we do not have a strong product for rural areas; therefore definitely we need a model to acquire such kind of customers because Honda philosophy is to supply affordable products to customers. It is our responsibility to enables a product that people in rural areas can buy," Ogata said.
At present, HMSI exports only 3 per cent of its total volume to a few countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal and Latin America.
HMSI has four plants located at Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan), Narsapura (Karnataka) and Vithalapur (Gujarat), with total installed production capacity of 64 lakh units per annum.