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Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has laid the foundation stone for its fourth two-wheeler plant in Gujarat. With an installed annual capacity of 12 lakh units, the plant, coming up in 250 acres in Vithalapur, 80 km from Ahmedabad, will be the world’s largest scooter-only manufacturing facility.
The plant will start commercial production by the end of 2015, and is expected to achieve full production capacity of 12 lakh within a year. The company’s three other manufacturing plants, making both scooters and motorcycles, are at Manesar (Haryana), Alwar (Rajasthan) and Kolar (Karnataka), with production capacities of 16 lakh, 12 lakh and 18 lakh units, respectively.
Keita Muramatsu, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said, “Indian automatic scooter market is growing 2.5 times the speed of overall two-wheeler industry growth. The latent demand of automatic scooter is so strong that with improving infrastructure in rural India, we foresee that this segment sale can go up to 35 percent of overall two-wheeler sales in 5-10 years.”
“As the world’s biggest two-wheeler market, India is already a priority for Honda. In 2014-15, Honda aims to sell 18.2 million two-wheelers worldwide and for the first time, India will contribute almost 25 percent to global Honda sales,” said Noriaki Abe, Chief Operating Officer, Honda Motor Company - Asia and Oceania Region.
With a presence in more than 40 countries globally, Honda’s worldwide two-wheeler sales volume in 2013-14 was 1.70 crore units, a year when India’s contribution to it crossed the 20-per-cent mark, making it the second largest contributor that year. Honda exported 1.7 lakh units last year from India.