Karnataka plant is Honda’s largest in the world

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India has become the biggest production hub for Honda’s two wheeler operations globally after the company started a fourth assembly line in its Narasapura factory in Kolar district. The country also contributes the largest pie, 30%, to Honda’s two wheeler business.The new assembly line, with a capacity of 6 lakh units annually, will raise Narsapura’s production capacity to 24 lakh units, significantly higher than HondaMotorcycle & Scooter India’s (HMSI) other three facilities in Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan) and Vithalpur (Gujarat).

These four factories will manufacture 64 lakh motorcycles and scooters in the fiscal. With this, it overtakes Indonesia, with 58-lakh capacity, to become the biggest hub. HMSI, a unit of Japan’s Honda Motor Co, has the second largest share, of 30%, in the Indian two-wheeler market, behind only home-grown Hero, which has 36% share.

“To better meet dynamic market demand and to prepare for the future opportunities, today Honda has inaugurated the fourth assembly line in the Karnataka plant. This makes Narsapura the world’s largest two-wheeler plant for Honda, and India the No. 1 production base for Honda globally ,” Shinji Aoyama, chief officer, regional operations (Asia & Oceania), Honda Motor, said.

The Narasapura factory , 60 km from Bengaluru, was started in 2013 and is spread over 70,000 square metres.About 70% of the production is of scooters, and the remaining is motorcycles.The fourth assembly line, which involved an investment of Rs 606 crore, will provide employment to 1,555 people, taking the total headcount in the factory to 7,000.Honda and its allied suppliers have invested more than Rs 5,400 crore in Karnataka.

Minoru Kato, CEO of HMSI, said between 5%-6% of the vehicles are exported from the company’s facilities to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Columbia and Bangladesh.”In the long term, our steady and strategic investments will power our dreams to make India the export hub worldwide.”

In July , Honda two wheelers registered a 20% growth and gained 2% market share (total 28%) selling 544,508 units, compared to 453,884 units in the same month last year. The bulk of the sales (511, 939 units) were in the domestic market.

Rival Hero sold 623,269 units last month.

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