Honda to invest Rs 9,200 crore, largest for India car business
Japanese car major Honda plans to pump in over Rs 9,200 crore, its largest investment for India, to set up a third factory for launching hybrid and electric vehicles, and driving in new models and upgrades.
The fresh investment will double the company’s financial commitment in India to over Rs 18,500 crore since it began operations in 1998. “India is one of the most critical markets for Honda globally, and we want to strengthen our operations here,” Honda Cars India president & CEO Gaku Nakanishi told TOI. “The new investment — which we plan to make over the next decade — signals our commitment towards the growth potential in the Indian car market and underlying strength here.”
Honda currently has two factories — the first one at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and the second at Tapukara in Rajasthan. The company’s installed production capacity stands at 2.8 lakh units annually, higher than 1.7 lakh units it sold in 2017-18.
Nakanishi said new models, introduction of cleaner technologies, and a greater retail push has prompted the company to chalk out expansion plans. It is in the process of acquiring 380 acres for the new factory in Gujarat.
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Speaking about plans for electric and hybrid cars, he said Honda has started work on identifying new products and opportunities. “While the company needs to work towards providing appropriate products, the government has to focus on charging and allied infrastructure. Government subsidies and benefits to customers will play an important role in the acceptance of products.”
The company’s first electrified vehicle range has been developed under the Clarity brand and this includes full-electric car, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell option. The Clarity range is available in the US and Japan, but Nakanishi refused to specify a time frame for the India launch. “All I can say is that our electrified journey in India will begin within the next three years and this may surely include a mass-market hybrid.” He said Maruti and Hyundai are in a very strong position. “Our brand direction is very different and we are adopting a very distinctive approach here.”
Article Source : timesofindia.indiatimes
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