The Indian arm of the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Private Limited is setting up a new scooter manufacturing plant in Gujarat with an investment of Rs. 1,100 crore. The ground breaking ceremony was held in Ahmadabad today. The new plant, when it goes on stream by the end of 2015, will have annual capacity of producing 1.2 million scooters, according to a company statement. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI), the only Honda in Indian two-wheeler industry; today held the foundation stone laying ceremony and ‘Bhoomi-poojan’ for its landmark fourth manufacturing plant at Vithalapur (Mandal Taluk, Ahmadabad district, Gujarat) in India.
Spread across 250 acres, Honda’s fourth 2Wheeler plant at Vithalapur is approximately 80 km from Ahmedabad city. Once operational by end of 2015, it will have an annual production capacity of 1.2 million units, making it the world’s largest only scooter manufacturing facility. The foundation stone laying ceremony of Honda’s latest plant was distinguished by Chief Minister of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, Finance Minister, Saurabh Patel and other senior dignitaries from the Gujarat government. Key officials from Honda included Noriaki Abe (Chief Operating Officer, Honda Motor Company Ltd., Asia and Oceania Region), Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, Managing Officer, Honda Motor Co. Ltd., President and CEO, Honda Motor ndia Pvt. Ltd.),
Keita Muramatsu, President and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd., Harbhajan Singh, Vice President – General and Corporate Affairs, HMSI, Yadvinder S. Guleria, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, HMSI and local residents. In order to serve customers more efficiently with speed, undertaking this capacity expansion plan will increase HMSI’s total annual production capacity to 5.8 million units, including 1.6 million units at first plant (Haryana), 1.2 million units at second plant (Rajasthan) and 1.8 million units at third plant (Karnataka).
Elaborating how the upcoming 4th plant is a significant milestone in Honda’s global business, Noriaki Abe, Chief Operating Officer, Honda Motor Company Ltd, Asia and Oceania Region, said: “As the World’s biggest two-wheeler market, India is already a priority market for Honda. In the current fiscal 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. We have huge expectations from this project as this will be our flagship and benchmark plant in India in terms of volume, safety, quality, cost, associate skill and moral. ”
While speaking at the event, Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, Managing Officer, Honda Motor Co Ltd., said: “I would like to thank the Gujarat Government for their support in setting up the plant. With the fourth plant, we aim to reach closer to the vast market in West which contributes over 25 percent to Honda business. The new plant will employ approximately 3000 people within first two years of commercial production and will entail Rs. 1,100 crore investment. Honda’s fourth plant 1.2 million units annual production capacity and increase our overall production capacity to 5.8 million units.”
Keita Muramatsu-President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said: “Indian automatic scooter market is growing at 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 year horizon. As we gear up to take up this challenge of meeting the customer demand, Gujarat will an ideal home and a springboard to achieve greater heights. Now, the Honda automatic scooter you ride will not only be ‘Made in India’ but also ‘Made in Gujarat’.”
Elaborating on Honda’s contribution to ushering in local development, Harbhajan Singh – Vice President, General and Corporate Affairs, HMSI said: ”With the establishment of upcoming fourth plant, Honda is accelerating development in the Ahmadabad district and empowering local population to emerge as main beneficiaries of this growth story. As an extension of its global corporate philosophy, Honda has already started engaging with the local community with several CSR initiatives like installing solar powered hub light at Vithalapur Village to lighten community areas like chopal and local recreation centre to name a few.”
With a presence in more than 40 countries globally, Honda’s worldwide 2wheelersales volume was 17 million units in FY’2013-14. For the first time, India’s contribution crossed the 20 percent mark globally, making India second largest contributor globally in FY’2013-14.