Honda to triple India motorcycle sales in 5 years
(Reuters) - Honda Motor Co. (7267.T) plans to ramp up motorcycle production and triple sales in India to 5 million units annually in five years as its partnership with the Hero Group nears end, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.
Honda decided last December to sell its stake in joint venture Hero Honda Motors Ltd HROH.BO to Hero Group, the paper said.
To offset the expected decline in its local market share, Honda plans to boost production at subsidiary Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. from the current 1.55 million units a year, the business daily reported.
The unit's second factory is to begin operating in the state of Rajasthan in the second half of 2011 and lift Honda's production capacity in India to 2.2 million units by around 2012. Plans are also afoot to build a third plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Nikkei said.
Honda's overall investment to increase production in India is estimated at 10 billion rupees, or roughly 18 billion yen, the newspaper said.
Honda plans to begin production on a 250cc sports model in India in March. Honda also plans to open new sales locations in regional cities and rural districts, the paper added.
(Reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Edmund Klamann)
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