It will be the end of the road for at least one model of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), as the company has decided against upgrading its entire product range to Bharat Stage VI (BS 6).
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Minoru Kato, president and chief executive, HMSI said, “When we are doing the BS-VI transition, not all models will be upgraded to BS-VI”.
Honda, which manufactures and sells India’s best-selling two-wheeler Activa, has a portfolio of 24 models, including 19 that are fully manufactured in India and three that are partially manufactured within the country.
Companies like Honda are investing only in those models in which there is some assurance of generating volumes even after moving them to the BS-VI standard.
Costs are expected to rise by 10-20 percent after switching to BS-VI whose official implementation date is April 1, 2020. However, several vehicle makers will be switching to BS-VI production by January next year itself.
Cliq and Navi, the two unconventional models in Honda’s portfolio, have performed poorly and failed to meet the internal targets set by the company. Given their performance, these two may face the axe if the company decides the option.
Sales of Navi, a modern concept based on a moped, slipped to a nought in December after witnessing several months of decline in sales. Priced at Rs 45,300 the Navi was launched in 2016 as a fun two-wheeler aimed at the young crowd. Powered by an Activa engine, the gearless Navi is a mix of scooter and motorcycle attributes.
Cliq was yet another attempt by Honda to push scooter volumes at the price of a motorcycle targeting the rural market where scooterisation has not happened at the same pace as in the urban pockets.
Despite being priced Rs 10,000 cheaper than the Activa at Rs 44,900, volumes of the Cliq have remained muted. Selling more than 1,000 units a month until August, Cliq’s volumes have come down to below 200 units since October. Activa’s volumes, meanwhile, have been comfortably above Rs 2.5 lakh a month.
Kato did not specify if the Cliq will get upgraded to BS-VI or not. He, however, mentioned that “the Cliq will not continue in its present form and will be seen a different form”. He did not specify the timeframe for a makeover.
HMSI’s domestic volumes during April-January period grew by 0.44 percent to 4.88 million, below the industry’s growth of 8 percent during the same period, as per data supplied by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).