Honda Motorcycle plans to triple India sales in 5 years

Japanese motorcycle maker Honda Motor Co, which ended a partnership with India's Hero Group, plans to ramp up motorcycle production at its fully-owned Indian unit and triple sales to 5 million units annually in five years.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), the Indian arm of Honda Motor Co, has reported a 20 per cent year-on-year growth in sales, at 1,40,642 units in December 2010 compared to the same month of the previous year.

Honda sold 53,821 motorcycles and 76,263 scooters in India in December while it exported 10,558 units during the month.

Honda, which last month sold its stake in Hero Honda Motorcycles to partner Hero Group, hopes to boost local production to offset its comparatively low market share. (See: Hero, Honda split; seal new licensing deal)

Honda plans to boost production at its subsidiary Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd from the current 1.55 million units a year to 2.2 million units by 2012, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported.

Honda is planning overall investment of Rs1,000 crore (18 billion yen) in India to boost two-wheeler production, the newspaper said.

As part of its sales promotion drive, Honda Motor Co plans to begin production on a 250cc sports model in India in March.

The company also plans to build a third plant in Andhra Pradesh and open new sales locations in regional cities and rural districts, the paper added.