Honda Throws Down The Gauntlet With Shine 100

Murali Gopalan
15 Mar 2023
04:15 PM
1 Min Read

The Japanese two-wheeler maker will now look at redefining the leadership equations in India. This will mean taking on its erstwhile ally, Hero MotoCorp, which is still ahead.

Honda Shine 100

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) is targeting annual sales of 300,000 units for the Shine 100 commuter motorcycle, which was launched in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director, President and CEO, told reporters at a roundtable that he was confident that this number would even double over the next three years to 600,000 units annually.

It will be interesting to see if HMSI overtakes Hero MotoCorp as the market leader even while Ogata did not dwell upon the subject. The two former allies have been in a huge tug-of-war for the No 1 slot for a while now. 

Since the time they parted ways over a decade ago, HMSI has been pulling out all the stops in creating new plant capacities and ramping up production. Despite these efforts, Hero has consistently stayed ahead even though there have been the occasional months when HMSI has surged ahead.

The Hero Splendor has been the big difference in the leadership stakes, and here is where HMSI hopes to plug the gap with the Shine 100. The company has acknowledged that it needs to strengthen its presence in North and Central India, where Hero has a vice-like grip in the rural hinterland.

Ogata said the company would also be unveiling its roadmap on new energy options towards the end of March. This will see detailed announcements happening in electric, where the company will indicate the location of the production base. In all likelihood, this will be in Karnataka, which is the largest plant in its kitty. 

The choice of the South makes sense since a lot of the action on electric mobility is happening here. Bengaluru is also home to Honda's battery-swapping business, Honda Power Pack Energy India.

HMSI has its other facilities in Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat, where the total capacity is around six million units annually. Once the electric foray begins next year, there could be new dynamics at play, with collaborations being the name of the game. Whether this will include other OEMs like Yamaha remains to be seen.

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