While several four wheelers were being launched on the inaugural day of the ninth Auto Expo 2008, the day seemed to be sluggish for scooter and motorcycle manufacturers, with only Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI) launching its new premium scooter Aviator for the Indian market. Other players in the segment like Yamaha Motor, Hero Ultra, Bajaj KTM and others chose to announce their plans on the second day of the mega event.
With sophisticated and luxurious looks, HMSI’s Aviator has lightweight 12-inch-alloy wheels, which is a first for the Indian scooter industry. Priced at Rs 39,675 for Delhi, it will hit the Indian roads from March 2008. HMSI is the 100 per cent owned two-wheeler subsidiary of the Honda Motor Co., Japan.
According to NK Rattan, Head-Sales and Marketing, HMSI, “HMSI has 75 per cent share in the scooter and motorcycle segment in India. The scooter market today is a diversified one due to changing lifestyles of people. Owners of Aviator would love its elegance, driving comfort and ease in day-to-day riding. It is the perfect answer for buyers seeking a superior vehicle ownership experience.” He added that the company aimed to produce 10 lakh units of Aviator in the fisal year 2008-2009, as also 7 lakh units of scooters and 3 lakh units of motorcycles.
M Takedagawa, Operating Officer-Southwest Asia of Honda Motor Co. Japan; President and CEO, Honda SIEL Cars India Ltd; and President and CEO, HMSI, added, “Design, technology and service levels are seeing new highs in the automobile industry. The two-wheeler products in future would reflect international design and style.”
Shinji Aoyama, President and CEO, HMSI, said that HMSI was the fastest growing company in the two-wheeler industry. “In November 2007, we already crossed the 3 million customers mark. Going forward we have set our targets to cross the six figure mark of a million in the year 2008-09.”
Among the other two-wheeler companies looking at grabbing at maximum eyeballs at this year’s expo is Royal Enfield, which is contributing to the spirit of biking. The stall of the more than 100-year-old cult brand has trained Royal Enfield personnel stationed, who are guiding visitors on biking trips.