Honda India to use bike dealer network to boost car sales

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Employees work on a Honda Mobilio car at a Honda plant in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi. Photo: Reuters

Honda Motor India, which currently has a modest 5.3% market share in the Indian car market, is exploring ways to increase it to double digits within five years. The company is now looking at harnessing the distribution network and customer base of its two-wheeler business, Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India Pvt. Ltd, to push car sales, reports Economic Times.

The Indian passenger car market is currently dominated by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (the Indian unit of Suzuki Motors, Japan) and Hyundai Motor India Ltd (a unit of Hyundai Motors, South Korea), with the former enjoying 50.2% market share. Currently Honda is the fifth largest manufacturer, behind Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors.

Shinji Aoyama, chief officer (Asia & Oceania) of Honda, said he wants the company’s car and bike businesses in India to work in tandem, as is the norm in other countries. In India, Honda had entered into a partnership with SIEL motors for cars and Hero Motors for two-wheelers, previously they had been functioning as two separate units.

With Honda having parted ways with Hero Group and its two-wheeler sales performing well, it is looking to leverage its distribution network to boost car sales, especially in rural areas. Honda currently is the top scooter maker in India and second largest motorcycle maker in the country.

Honda’s scooter unit has a total of 5,379 distribution points across India, while Honda Cars has 348 sales outlets in 233 cities.

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