HMSI to put its middleweight category motorcycle project on hold barely after revealing its plan to launch Royal Enfield rival models in the country
Just a few days ago Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd revealed its plan to launch new middleweight category models to rival the Royal Enfield motorcycles. But, within a few days, the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer indicates that it is keeping the project on hold, as it believes that presently cost competitiveness is not enough in 250 cc plus segment.
Royal Enfield is the fastest growing brand in the quarter litre and above segment with its range of products like Bullet, Classic, Thunderbird, Himalayan and Continental GT. HMSI’s aim was to locally produce motorcycles for the middleweight category, as it would give them opportunity to keep pricing competitive against RE models. The company formed a team as well comprising engineers from Japan and Thailand.
Honda has a wide range of products in the entry level segment up to 125 cc category, but in the 250 cc plus segment it has limited number of products. The Indian customers are showing more and more interest towards the motorcycles with higher displacement. That is the spot, where Royal Enfield has been able to enter swiftly.
It is not that only Honda is aiming to give the Royal Enfield touch competition, relatively new entrants like Indian Motorcycles too expressed its eagerness to launch motorcycles that will rival with RE models. Bajaj Auto is also planning to give the Royal Enfield tough competition with its future motorcycles and the current flagship Dominar 400.
Speaking about Honda, it is taking time because, the new middleweight category motorcycle will not focus only Indian market, but several south east Asian markets also and developing the model will need time. The ASEAN region markets are quite similar to the Indian market when it comes to motorcycles. Also, with the upcoming BS-VI emission norm to be implemented in 2020, Honda could start production of the new motorcycle during that time.