Riding on SP 125 roll-out, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India expects the prevailing auto slowdown to persist over the next few months
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) appears to be quick of the blocks as far as its transition from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms is concerned. HMSI has become the first two-wheeler manufacturer in the country to have one scooter and one motorcycle BS-VI-compliant with the recent roll-out of SP 125 BS-VI – it had launched the Active 125 BS VI a few months ago. Clearly, the company has planned things well in this transition journey even as it posted much-welcome double-digit growth during the recent festive season. “We are sticking to our BS-VI migration schedule and we are confident that all our products will be BS-VI complaint well before the April 1, 2020 timeline. There were learnings from our transition BS IV in 2017 and we did not want to encounter a situation like that,” said Yadvinder Singh Guleria , Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, HMSI.
The latest offering from the HMSI stable will surely boost its market share in the 125cc segment where it is a major player – it enjoys 39% market share in this segment. But despite the impressive growth during the festive season, the senior HMSI official sounded cautiously optimistic about the future. “The last eleven months have been tough for us and unfortunately market forces are not in your control. As I see it, the slowdown will persist over the next few months before we see industry limping to normalcy, in terms of growth.”
There are concerns among vehicle manufacturers about inventory pile-up of BS-IV products, but HSMI is fairly well placed on this front. “The decent festive season sales helped liquidate much of our BS VI products and I don’t see this a concern area as we move to BS-VI,” he observed.
The BS VI version of SP 125 priced at Rs 72,900 (ex-showroom Delhi), will be 11 % more costlier than the BS IV model and Guleria said the price hike is only inevitable. “Once all manufacturers roll out their BS-VI products, the price will be uniform for all and this price hike is aimed at ensuring a cleaner and greener mobility.”
The Indian two-wheeler space is witnessing the arrival of slew of electric scooters. Does that crank up competition among ICE-powered two-wheeler manufacturers? Guleria said EVs will take time to make deep inroads. “The government is keen to push for electric vehicles and we welcome that. But charging infrastructure and range anxiety are still issues that need to be addressed.”