Answer: Mr. Opportunity from Honda
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, the country’s second largest two-wheeler maker, has halted production and sales of two its once most popular bikes CBR 250 and CBR 150.
Not a single new unit of the two bikes has been produced since April 1 and most of the older stocks have been liquidated during the stock clearance sale of March 30-31.
The previous stocks were of Bharat Stage III emission standard which were deemed useless after the start of the new financial year as the Supreme Court banned sale of all BS-III vehicles after April 1. Both the bikes were manufactured in India by Honda.
The company has, however, said that the two bikes could return to Honda showrooms though a spokesperson did not share a timeline for the launches. Sources say not only will the new bikes have to be BS-IV compliant but will have to offer some additional features to counter competition.
"Moving forward, there is a plan to come back in this segment. However, it is too early to disclose details of the same," said the spokesperson.
Introduced in 2011 both the Hondas hit a sweet spot with the buyers instantly. The segment of bikes costing Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 2 lakh had not been explored much with only a handful of manufacturers marking their presence.
However, in recent years several manufacturers launched new products in the segment including the Dominar, Pulsar RS 200 by Bajaj, Duke 200,250, RC 200 by KTM, FZ 25 and Fazer 25 by Yamaha, Mojo by Mahindra, Himalayan by Royal Enfield, UM Motorcycle range and the Apache 200 by TVS.
Sales of the two Hondas were on a downward spiral for the whole of last year with average monthly sales hitting 214 units for the CBR 250 and 455 units for the CBR 150 last year compared to 721 units for the CBR 150 and 290 units for the CBR 250 clocked in 2015-16.
During the two-day fire sale in March, Honda, along with the industry, offered minimum discounts of Rs 25,000-30,000 on the CBR 150 and 250 to clear stocks.
Honda has promised to launch a range of new products in both scooters and motorcycle categories as it looks to not only defend its share but challenge the dominance of Hero Motocorp
, the country’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer.