Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India is keen on expanding its role in the two-wheeler market beyond volumes and market share.
“From our point of view, contributing to the Indian society is our top priority. We are growing our business and investing more but need to contribute more to the cause of safety and the environment,” Mr Shinji Aoyama, President and Chief Executive Officer, told Business Line.
According to him, there were still many road accidents happening in India.
“Unless we focus on good riding education, things will not improve. Similarly, in terms of environment, there is no perfect solution so far despite the Bharat Stage 3 emission norms. We, at HMSI, have to do something,” he said.
One of these initiatives could lie in eco-friendly scooters and motorcycles. Mr Aoyama said that this was definitely a possibility in the next 5-10 years by which time, the company was keen on “changing the market structure in India”.
Honda's Indian arms, Hero Honda and HMSI, have a combined market share of over 60 per cent in India. While the former averages monthly sales of over 3.5 lakh units, HMSI accounts for around 1.4 lakh scooters and bikes.
The two companies have tried to maintain their exclusive identities in the country by positioning their products differently. Hero Honda, which is the market leader, focuses on the commuter segment where the Splendor and Passion motorcycles rule the roost.
HMSI, on the other hand, does not want to look at numbers alone. “From my point of view, I am not too concerned about volumes or overtaking competition. We want to serve more people with high quality products which will automatically build our customer base,” Mr Aoyama said.
The company believes it is this focus that has contributed to its market leadership position with the Activa gearless scooter and will also help it achieve an encore with its relatively younger motorcycle portfolio. “Honda provides higher quality products and we have the potential to grow on that. The role of HMSI is getting more important and there are many things to do in this country,” he added.