'Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India’s marketing budget will be up 25% in FY24'
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Managing Director, President & CEO Atsushi Ogata and operating head (Sales & Marketing), Yogesh Mathur spoke on the sidelines of the company’s new launch 'Shine 100'
Published - Mar 20, 2023 9:05 AM | 4 min read
Japanese two-wheeler firm’s Indian arm Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) stepped into the highly competitive market of 100cc bikes on Wednesday with the launch of the Shine 100.
Eyeing 300,000 unit sales in the first year, HMSI hopes that Shine 100 would help it beat the market leader Hero MotoCorp.
Priced at Rs 64,900 (ex-showroom Mumbai), the Shine 100 will be one of the most affordable self-start bikes in this category. The bike will enter production in April 2023, while first deliveries will start in May.
Gurugram-based HMSI’s journey in India has been spectacular. Within 25 years, it has become the country’s second largest two-wheeler maker with a market share of 27 percent and revenue touching Rs 24,000 crore.
“Honda’s promise for every Indian commuter is to surpass their expectations by offering unmatched value. With its reliable performance, comfortable ride, and affordable price we aim to empower people with the freedom to move forward, to explore new horizons and realize their dreams,” says Yogesh Mathur, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Managing Director and President.
The 100cc bike accounts for roughly 28 per cent of the total two-wheeler market where HMSI did not have any presence. 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.
Clearly, Honda has an uphill task to create a space in the category. Mathur understands the stiff competition and hence shied away from sharing the sales projections.
“It is a new launch and it will take some time for us to understand the market,” Mathur responded pragmatically.
CEO Atsushi Ogata and operating head (Sales and Marketing), however, aims big: “We want to sell at least 3 lakh units of Shine 100 in a year. It can go up to 6 lakh units over a period of the next three years.” He jokingly ordered Mathur to achieve the target set by the company.
The company has launched a campaign for Shine 100 in several languages with actor Jimmy Shergil as its brand ambassador.
Shine 100 is developed with as many as 12 patent applications for the enhancement of reliability. Shine 100 is the upgraded, fuel efficient and 100 cc version of Honda’s existing range Shine which has been available in the market since 2006.
“Legacy of the Shine brand and price of Shine 100 are our USP. Since Shine 100 is the cheapest in the category, those who were not able to afford the 125cc model can now buy our vehicle. Our marketing strategy would be around the same”, says Mathur.
For Honda, North and Central India are the two largest markets, says Mathur, adding, “With Shine 100, the company is targeting the rural market, which makes up ⅔ of total two-wheeler sales in India.”
When asked about the current marketing budget and allocation for FY24, Mathur refused to share the details. However, he disclosed that the company has planned to hike its marketing budget by a whopping 25% in the coming fiscal.
It is noteworthy that the company had cut down its advertising and promotion expenses to Rs 160 crore for the fiscal ended 31st March 2022 as against Rs 170 Cr in FY21 and Rs 335 crore in FY20, according to the company's financial data accessed by business intelligence platform Tofler.
On Media Mix
“Digital constitutes nearly ⅓ of our marketing budget ever since the pandemic struck. The rest goes to traditional media. We would continue to invest in digital in the same way, at least in the coming fiscal,” Mathur stated.
When asked about TV’s share in his AdEx, Mathur said it keeps changing depending on the kind of launches.
Which digital platform offers the best ROI? Mathur quips - YouTube. “YouTube does very well for us. We focus on performance-based marketing to get the best ROI from digital platforms,” Mathur said.
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