Honda announced plans to open its fourth motorcycle manufacturing plant in India, with a production capacity of 1.2 million units per year. Honda is investing 11 billion Indian rupees (US$175.8 million) into the new facility which it hopes will strengthen the position of its subsidiary Honda Motorcycle Scooter India Ltd. as the world’s second largest motorcycle producer while taking aim at the current leader, Hero MotoCorp.
The new plant, scheduled to open in 2015 in the north-western state of Gujarat, will be the third Honda factory established in India since 2011. Honda currently has plants in Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The fourth plant will increase Honda’s Indian annual manufacturing capacity to 5.8 million units.
“HMSI sales volumes have already reached 2nd position for Honda’s two wheeler business worldwide,” says Takanobu Ito, president and chief executive officer of Honda Motor Company. “We believe India may soon be top market for Honda. Today I am happy to announce Honda will reach closer to customers with a new 4th plant at Gujarat. We will invest an additional Rs. 1,100 crore for creating new 1.2 million units annual capacity.”
While most Honda motorcycles produced in India are small displacement models, Honda plans to increase production of larger motorcycles. Honda confirmed the CBR650F will be produced in India in 2015, though it’s unclear whether that is in addition to, or a replacement for the middleweight sportbike’s current production location in Thailand.