Honda rides into highly competitive mass segment with 100cc bike

Japanese two-wheeler giant’s Indian arm Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) finally enters the highly competitive mass segment of 100cc bikes with the launch of the Shine 100 on Wednesday. Eyeing 300,000 unit sales in the first year, the Shine 100 may help HMSI close in on market leader Hero MotoCorp.

Meanwhile, the company also said it is considering its Karnataka plant to set up an exclusive electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing line. HMSI is aiming at launching its first EV within a year.

Priced at Rs 64,900 (ex-showroom Mumbai), the Shine 100 will be one of the most affordable self-start bikes in this category in the country.

The Shine 100 is pitted against four products from its rival Hero — the HF 100, the HF Deluxe, Splendor Plus, and the Splendor Plus XTEC — which are priced between Rs 55,000 and Rs 75,000.

The Bajaj Platina 100 is priced at around Rs 67,000.

Bookings for the Shine 100 opened on Wednesday. Production will start next month. Deliveries will begin in May.

The 100cc bike accounts for roughly 28 per cent of the total two-wheeler market where HMSI did not have any presence.

Yogesh Mathur, operating officer, sales and marketing, HMSI, said while the company has strong presence in markets in the South and West and is growing in the East, it does not have a stronghold in the North and Central India markets.

“With this 100cc commuter range bike, we can now target the North and Central India markets,” said Mathur.

The company is targeting the rural market, which makes up approximately 65 per cent of total two-wheeler sales in India. Bikes of 100-110cc comprise 33 per cent of the motorcycle market, of which 100cc bikes alone make up around 80 per cent of this entry-level mass segment. HMSI already has presence in the 125cc category.

Atsushi Ogata, president, managing director, and chief executive officer, HMSI, said the company is addressing rural customers and trying to offer them a better experience over other 100cc bikes available in the market. He added that he was confident of selling 300,000 units of the Shine 100 in the first year and scaling that up to 600,000 units by the third year.

Between April and February of 2022-23, Hero MotoCorp sold 4.6 million units of two-wheelers, while HMSI sold around 3.8 million units.

HMSI is also planning to start a separate line for EVs at one of its locations, and may consider its Karnataka plant for the same. Meanwhile, with a total capacity of around 5.3 million units per annum now, the company expects to hit full capacity utilisation next year, including exports and domestic sales, Ogata told the media.

HMSI is contemplating adding a separate line for its Activa range of scooters at its Gujarat facility. If it uses the Gujarat facility, the total expandable capacity will be 6.4 million units.

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