HMSI plans to launch two bikes next fiscal



HMSI plans to launch two bikes next fiscal New Delhi: Two-wheeler maker Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) on Wednesday said it may introduce two new bikes in the country during the next fiscal as it aims to clock sales of 15 lakh units in 2010-11.

The company also said it may increase the number of permanent employees at the Manesar plant by shifting some of its contractual workers onto payroll.

"We may introduce a couple of new bikes during the next fiscal as part of our strategy to constantly strengthen our lineup," HMSI President and CEO Shinji Aoyama told PTI during the 10th Auto Expo here.

He, however, refused to provide details regarding the specification of the new bikes and their expected price range.

Aoyama said the company is aiming to sell 15 lakh units during the next fiscal, including 8 lakh units of scooters and 7 lakh units of motorcycles.

"During the last financial year, we sold 10.7 lakh units and this fiscal we will register sales of at least 12.5 lakh units. Next year, we are aiming to increase our sales further by clocking 15 lakh units," he said.

He, however, said the company has no plans to launch any new scooters in the near future. HMSI is the largest player in the scooter segment in India with a share of over 50 per cent.

Regarding the company's recent foray into the entry-level 100-110cc bike segment with its CBZ Twister, Aoyama said, "We are looking to sell at least 2.2 lakh units of the 110cc bike during the next fiscal. This will help us in increasing our share in the motorcycle market."

He, however, added that the company's entry into the entry-level segment would not entail any competition with Hero Honda motorcycle.

HMSI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese auto giant Honda Motor Co, which is also present in India through a joint venture with the Hero Group.

Aoyama said the company will increase the number of its permanent employees at its Manesar plant.

"Out of our 6,000-odd employees, around half are on the payrolls, while the rest are contractual workers. During the next fiscal, we will shift some of the contractual workers to our payrolls. However, at this moment I cannot give you any numbers," he said.

Talking about recent speculation that HMSI might look for an alternative site outside Haryana for its plant due tolabour unrest, Aoyama said, "We have no plans to shift our plant or any part of our production capacity to any other place. The labour issues have been completely resolved."

HMSI's Manesar plant was in news, last year, to due severe labour unrest, whiHaryana fh led to a long strike and production losses.

Aoyama added that the Manesar plant would reach a production capacity of 15.5 lakh units by March this year, up from 12.5 lakh units earlier.

PTI