Honda India to unveil new scooter platform by 2014; New 125-135cc commuter motorcycle due in 2013-14
By 2020, Honda wants to become the biggest two wheeler maker in the world, in terms of volumes, a position currently occupied by Hero MotoCorp. To achieve this goal, Honda requires a range of high volume products to be mainly sold in the Indian market, a two wheeler market which is one of the biggest in the world. Today, we have with us a few pointers towards Honda’s future products in the scooter and motorcycle space. The brand is all set to make a foray in the premium end of the automatic scooter market by 2013-14, when it plans to launch a 125cc variant.
Currently, Honda has limited itself to the 110cc segment of the automatic scooter market and a 125cc version, which will be more powerful than any of Honda’s existing scooter offerings could be the top-of-the-line model. Currently, scooter makers like Suzuki, Piaggio and Mahindra TwoWheelers have a presence in the 125cc segment, with TVS Motors and perhaps Yamaha all set to join this brigade later in the year. So, Honda will need a 125cc scooter sooner than later given the growing clan of products in this segment. So, 2013-14 it will be before Honda brings its 125cc automatic scooter(codenamed K24A) offering to the Indian market.
The scooter will be based on the Aviator platform, which means that it could come with generous proportions to suit male buyers, who form the bulk of 125cc scooter buyers. Another big volume product planned for 2013-14 by Honda is a commuter motorcycle with an engine capacity of 125-135cc. This motorcycle could be pitted against the Pulsar 135, as a premium commuter offering from the Japanese auto giant. Codenamed the K23A, this motorcycle could be instrumental in growing Honda’s marketshare in the 125-135cc motorcycle segment, a sector where competition is steadily increasing even as motorcycle buyers are rapidly graduating from the 100cc motorcycles to products that offer many more features and better performance.
The other big plan emerging from Honda is that the two wheeler maker plans to revamp the Activa platform, a range of scooters that brings in the lion’s share of sales. Honda’s first product in the Indian market was the Activa, a scooter which was a runaway success right from word go. The new platform will arrive by 2014 and expect a push towards higher fuel economy. Also, electric power could be on the cards given that scooter makers like TVS and Hero MotoCorp have already announced plans of entering the hybrid segment in the future.