India is Honda's No. 2 market in the world.
In a recent interview with Economic Times, Shinji Aoyama, Honda Motor Company's Chief Operating Officer for Motorcycle Operations since April 2013, revealed that the local R&D of two wheelers in India will be promoted while the engine development will be retained in Japan. He served as the President of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. from June 2007 to March 2011.
He commented that HMSI's chief rival, Hero MotoCorp, is still wondering how to improve capability or development of a product on their own, while Honda has already started developing two wheelers locally, in Manesar.
Aoyama went on to say that HMSI can develop a two wheeler from scratch, but the development of an engine is not easy enough to be entrusted to the Indian wing. He added that the Indian R&D team is still new, and that he is not sure if India can be given the responsibility to develop products for markets like Africa and the Middle East, as China is more competitive in terms of cost.
Shinji Aoyama also mentioned that HMSI should focus on meeting the current youngsters' demands in parallel to chasing volumes. In two to three years, Honda India has a chance to overtake Indonesia's sales volume to become the No.1 market for the brand in the world.
[Source: Economic Times]