Time and again, Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India has made its ambitions of dominating the Indian two wheeler market by 2020, crystal clear. Honda’s ambitious plan to usurp the top spot from the world’s largest two wheeler maker by volume, Hero MotoCorp, will certainly be no cakewalk. In the past couple of years, Honda has been making all the right moves to walk the talk and build volumes in the Indian two wheeler market. The latest rumour suggests that Honda is all set to directly challenge Hero MotoCorp’s best selling motorcycle model, the Splendor, in the next few months.
The 100cc Hero MotoCorp Splendor is the best selling commuter motorcycle in India and has held on to its dominant position for well over a decade now. To take on the Splendor, Honda is said to be readying up a cut price 100cc four stroke commuter motorcycle codenamed the K23 and based on the Dream Yuga platform. The Dream Yuga platform plays host to the Dream Yuga 110cc commuter motorcycle, a product that’s positioned above the Splendor in terms of pricing. In the cut throat commuter motorcycle segment, pricing, along with fuel economy and branding, is a very important factor that makes or breaks a product.
In that light, Honda’s purported move to ready up a 100cc challenger to the Splendor means that the Japanese two wheeler giant wants to win marketshare from the Splendor and consequently, Hero MotoCorp. To arrive at a lower price tag, Honda could dump a feature or two from the new commuter motorcycle. The 100cc engine capacity being bandied about by the rumour for the new Honda commuter motorcycle means that fuel economy too could get a fillip as a smaller engine usually translates to better fuel economy.
The new Honda 100cc commuter motorcycle’s price could be pegged at about 40,000 rupees. To match Hero MotoCorp’s unmatched nationwide reach, Honda has been rapidly expanding its dealerships into India’s smaller towns and rural areas. However, Honda still remains far behind Hero MotoCorp when it comes to dealership penetration in India’s hinterland. So, Honda will have to match new product launches with the dealership expansion program if it intends to unseat Hero MotoCorp from the top perch.