homeauto NewsHonda to launch EV roadmap in March, new 350cc bike in August

Honda to launch EV roadmap in March, new 350cc bike in August

Honda to launch EV roadmap in March, new 350cc bike in August
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By Daanish Anand  Jan 24, 2023 6:55:12 AM IST (Published)

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) today launched the new edition of Activa 6G which comes with H-Smart technology in the top variant. New Activa has been launched in three trims options Standard, Deluxe and Smart.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) today launched the new edition of Activa 6G which comes with H-Smart technology in the top variant. New Activa has been launched in three trims options Standard, Deluxe and Smart. Standard variant has been priced at Rs 74,536, Deluxe variant at Rs 77,036 and Smart variant which comes with H-Smart has been priced at Rs 80,537 (ex-showroom). CNBC-TV18 exclusively caught up with Atsushi Ogata, MD, President & CEO, HMSI.

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Q: What is the biggest USP of the new variant and how much will the launch add to the market share?
Activa has been one of the top selling scooter in India for over a decade. In compliance with the OBD-II standards, we now have to launch our scooters & motorcycles. With the fact that the scooter is a mass segment model we selected Activa to be the first OBD-II standards by HMSI. The biggest USP of the new variant is the H-Smart technology. The new Activa comes with a Smart Key feature which enhances safety & gives keyless experience as well. The new feature is expected to improve customer sentiment. The last 3 years have been tough, demand is mostly picking up. We're hopeful we'll get better market share in comparison to last FY.
2) How is the current demand? How have the rural sales been?
Last three years have been tough for the industry due to various factors. Industry transitioned to BS VI standards, pandemic halted sales, supply chain issues & volatile raw material prices impacted the business environment. But now gradually the overall demand is coming back. If positive momentum continues, we're confident of more sales. There is a tough scenario in the rural market. We will soon announce a new low end motorcycle focused on the rural market. We're hoping that the new low end motorcycle will revive rural demand.
3) The government has an ambitious electric vehicle roadmap and there are policies like battery swapping standards in the work. What are Honda's EV plans for India?
We are in talks with our company HQs to launch an EV for India. Having an entire EV ecosystem which comprises of manufacturing components, batteries, charging infrastructure & manufacturing vehicle will be beneficial. We have four manufacturing plants in India. The Indian government policies are good to promote EVs in India. We are likely to announce EV roadmap In March this year. We will earmark funds for development of EVs in next financial year's budget.
4) Will high interest rates & inflation affect this year's sales? What is your outlook for 2023? What are your plans for the 350cc & above motorcycle segment?
Last 3 years have been tough due to the transition to BS VI, pandemic & volatile commodity prices. In 2023 we need to take care of multiple factors on how to make outset. Pricing vehicles inline with OBD norms is critical. We are hopeful of a good year & will focus on our current portfolio. The motorcycle market is exciting and we will launch a new model in the 350cc segment in August this year.
With the keyless feature in Activa Smart variant the rider can lock or unlock the handlebars, gain access to the storage beneath the seat, open the fuel lid. The Smart Key also has an anti-theft feature and can also be used to find scooter in parking lot.
The scooter is powered by a 109.51 CC single-cylinder engine which comes with telescopic fork front suspension & 3-step adjustable rear shock absorber and a combined braking system. New Activate also comes with patented technologies like updated programmed fuel injection, enhanced smart tumble technology, ACG starter and friction reduction. Deliveries will begin at the end of this month.
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