Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) has taken a major step forward in its Indian chapter. The Japanese company has been popular with the masses especially with its scooter products. The Activa has for long remained the king of the automatic scooter segment and remains a popular choice despite the increasing competition. Honda has three plants currently catering to the demand but with the automatic scooter segment anticipated to account for nearly 35 per cent of total two-wheeler sales in the coming 5-10 years, capacity expansion seems like a logical step.
Work on the fourth plant has started with the foundation stone laid by the chief minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel. Located at Vithalapur, 80 kilometers from Ahmedabad, this facility will add to Honda’s existing manufacturing plants situated in Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka. Expected to have an annual capacity of 1.2 million units this plant will become operational by the end of 2015. This is a huge establishment spread over 250 acres and will command an investment of 1100 crore rupees. Once finished, this will be the largest scooter-only manufacturing plant in the world.
HMSI will see its annual production capacity bumped up to 5.8 million units, enabling it to better cater to the growing scooter demand. The company sold a total of 17 million units worldwide during the 2013-14 fiscal year. The important part in this figure is that 20 per cent of the contribution came from India making it the second largest country globally in terms of sales.