Honda may take Hero Honda head-on with new low-end bike

Japanese two-wheeler giant Honda's fully-owned subsidiary Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) seems to be preparing for a head-on competition with its own arm Hero Honda, India's biggest motorcycle maker and Honda's joint venture company with the Munjal family.

After riding the 110cc Twister into the Indian market early this year, HMSI now says that it is looking at bringing in another bike, at a lower price point, that will be targeted at the mass market.

"Yes, we may need to go there in the future ... we are going to enter into the more mass segment," HMSI president and chief executive officer Shinji Aoyama said in New Delhi on Friday when asked whether the company had plans to launch another bike alongside the Twister.

Speaking at the launch of Honda's Rs17.5 lakh superbike VFR1200F, Aoyama said the new bike should sport a price tag lower than the Twister, which currently has a Delhi ex-showroom price of Rs43,000. "However, there is nothing concrete on this at this moment," he said when asked for details.

Meanwhile, expanding its portfolio in the high-end motorcycle segment, Honda launched the VFR1200F in the capital.

According to Aoyama, "This is a fun bike manufactured at Honda's most advanced facility and the mother plant of global motorcycles - the Kumamoto factory in Japan. VFR1200F is a concept bike driven by customer needs."