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    Honda starts development of e-scooters for Indian market

    Synopsis

    HMSI is the top contributor to parent Honda’s global two-wheeler business, and currently has four manufacturing plants in India, with an installed capacity of 64 lakh units per annum.

    AFP
    The company is now looking at expansion of its manufacturing capacity.
    (This story originally appeared in on Apr 10, 2018)
    NEW DELHI: Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the country’s second-biggest twowheeler maker, has started work on developing electric scooters for the Indian market. The move comes at a time when there is increased focus on green technologies as the government looks at ways to curb growing pollution across cities. Minoru Kato, president and CEO of HMSI, said work regarding the electric scooters is being carried out at its headquarters in Japan. “Inputs are being taken from the Indian operations,” Kato told TOI here. The HMSI CEO said while Honda has a global experience in electric twowheelers, it is a “struggle” to meet the expectations of customers when looking at mass models for a market like India.

    The challenge is in aspects like pricing, driving range of the vehicle, and performance. “How do we strike the right balance here?” He said the minimum distance that the company is targeting on a single charge is 100 km. Asked how soon can the company look at rollout, Kato said it is difficult to spell out a time frame. “Nobody knows the timeline as yet.”

    Speaking about the business in India, Kato said HMSI sold over 5.7 million units here in the last fiscal at a growth rate of 22%. Apart from this, it also exported 3.5 lakh units.

    The company is now looking at expansion of its manufacturing capacity. HMSI is the top contributor to parent Honda’s global two-wheeler business, and currently has four manufacturing plants in India, with an installed capacity of 64 lakh units per annum.

    Kato said new launches and increased retail presence will be a focus area for the company, which will invest Rs 800 crore in the current fiscal.

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