Honda will not upgrade four-five of its models to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms which would lead to trimming of its product portfolio. This comes at a time when the two-wheeler demand is not expected to revive at least in the next nine months.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), the country’s second-largest two-wheeler maker, will stop production of BS-IV compliant scooters and motorcycles by the end of January, a top company official confirmed.
Speaking on the sidelines of launching the BS-VI Activa 6G Minoru Kato, President, CEO and MD, HMSI said, “We will stop production of BS-IV vehicles by end of this month.”
HMSI has already launched three models with BS-VI engines, Activa 125, SP 125 and Activa 6G. The company has sold more than 75,000 units of BS-VI versions. The Navi and Cliq are two of the struggling models of Honda and will likely face the axe.
“There are four-five models that won’t be upgraded to BS-IV emission levels. We won’t be able to share the details of those models right now,” said Y S Guleria, senior vice president (marketing and sales), HMSI.
HMSI has a bouquet of 13 motorcycle models, 10 scooter models and a moped. With the trimming down of the portfolio HMSI will lose 20 percent of its product offering.
The company further warned about a continued deceleration in demand especially after the beginning of the April quarter. There is a minimum increase of 10 percent in prices of two-wheelers upgraded to BS-VI compared to today’s prices. The Activa 6G is priced 13-14 percent higher than the outgoing BS-IV model.
“We are expecting demand to come back by the festive period of this year. There are no signs of any immediate revival in demand for the upcoming months,” added Guleria.
The Navi, a moped-like two-wheeler targeted at the urban and rural buyer, did not achieve the kind of success expected from it. But, since the model is ‘very well received’ in a couple of Latin American markets the BS-IV version of the model will remain under production even after April 1. HMSI exports to 27 countries as of today.
Only a handful of two-wheeler models have been upgraded by manufacturers till date. TVS Motor Company has rolled out BS-VI version Jupiter and Apache models while market leader Hero Motocorp has introduced the Spelndor and HF Delux in BS-VI.
Yamaha, too, rolled out BS-VI compliant FZ, FZS and R15 models. Suzuki launched the Access 125 with BS-VI engine. Bajaj Auto
is yet to put out any BS-VI models in the market but will do so in the coming weeks.