The company currently sells six models under its CKD, CBU range
New Delhi: Japanese auto major Honda is looking to enhance presence in India's middle weight premium two-wheelers segment under its Silver Wing mark in line with its global strategy, a senior company official said Friday.
The company, which launched the first model under the Silver Wing -- CB300R motorcycle priced at Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom) Friday, may look at introducing a new sales network under the range in the country.
"Customer expectations in this (premium middle weight) segment are quite different from the mass segment products. So, under the global direction once we bring the models under similar (CB300R) DNA, we would like to take care of this business under this (Silver Wing) umbrella," HMSI Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing Yadvinder Singh Guleria told reporters here.
The middle weight segment (300-600) in India is currently dominated by players like Royal Enfield and is pegged at around 2 lakh units per annum.
Guleria said the premium range will not be taken care under the red wing mark or its regular channel but in a separate manner.
He did not share further details but added that the "Silver Wing mark will definitely spearhead the business".
The company currently sells six models under its CKD, CBU range.
When asked if only imported bikes would be sold under the Silver Wing mark in the country, Guleria said: "Currently it is mix of both imported and domestically produced ...CKD line is already there...we will continue to watch and see the response and how we can bring new products in the middle weight category...whether CKD or CBU ...but one thing is there that the product line needs to be expanded. We do see a future in the middleweight segment".
Bullish on the segment, he said that the company aims to enter the vertical in a step wise manner.
"In future we need to explore...we need to be more organised considering the expectations of the middle segment customers," he added.
When asked if focus on premium segment would alter the company's focus towards mass segment, Guleria said both the segments were equally important for the company.
"We have four factories and we cannot run them with only premium products. Mass segment is important for us but what we want to emphasise is that going forward once technology matures, new homologation comes in and there is a shift in price points, we have very good line-up already available in such (premium) technology zones," he added.
Both the segments will have to run parallel to each other, Guleria noted.
"Mass segment is very important but at the same point we need to start some seeding activities in this segment.. this is an exciting segment for sure," he said.
The 286-cc bike CB300R is the company's second Neo Sports Cafe offering in India. It is inspired inspired from CB1000R.
"With a legacy spanning four continents, CB300R is a great introduction for new riders to brand Honda's engineering prowess, design philosophy and build quality," HMSI President and CEO Minoru Kato told reporters here.
The deliveries of CB300R will begin from third week of March.
On Honda's plans regarding introducing electric vehicles in the country, Kato said the company globally has been developing such vehicles for the last 20 years.
High price of such products is an important factor and the company would like to "challenge itself" to come up with a product which meets with customer expectations in the country, he added without sharing details.