Honda Launches Activa 6G Scooter, Sees No Auto Revival In Near Term
Employees work on the assembly line at the Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. plant in Manesar. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg)

Honda Launches Activa 6G Scooter, Sees No Auto Revival In Near Term

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Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. does not see any revival from the auto slowdown that has lasted more than a year. India’s automobile sector recorded its worst-ever sales decline in two decades in 2019.

Speaking after the launch of company's third BS-VI compliant product, the 110-cc Activa 6G scooter, on Wednesday, HMSI’s Senior Vice President (sales and marketing) YS Guleria said he is not very hopeful of the government giving any concession to the industry on Goods and Services Tax rates. "If it (GST rate cut) happens, definitely it will help from customer point of view," he said.

"In the near future, we do not see any positive revival coming in the market, and after sometime in the long term... But for next two quarters, we are not that upbeat because there is a transition which is going to happen from April 1," Guleria said, referring to Bharat Stage-VI emission norms becoming mandatory from that date.

Honda, meanwhile, is trying to make it more affordable to upgrade to BS-VI vehicles via attractive finance scheme. "So how it will be finally evaluated by the customer (BS-VI transition), what kind of...whether it is good enough to motivate them to take the next action, that only time will tell...," Guleria said.

According to HMSI’s senior VP, it is difficult to specify in which month or quarter the auto revival will happen. "It is going to happen, it's not that we will continue to see that negative growth," he said.

With the Honda Activa 6G, the Japanese two-wheeler maker has introduced a host of new features offering latest technology. Deliveries for the new scooter, priced at Rs 63,912 (ex-showroom, Delhi), will start at January-end and early February.

The Activa 125 scooter was the first BS-VI-compliant model launched by HMSI in September last year, almost seven months ahead of the implementation of the new emission norms.

"Much ahead of the regulation, Honda was the first manufacturer in India to start selling BS-VI Activa 125 followed by SP 125," HMSI President and Chief Executive Officer Minoru Kato said. He said the company has already dispatched over 75,000 units of these two BS-VI models across India.

"Today, as we launch the all new BS-VI Activa 6G, I am confident it will unleash another quiet revolution and further strengthen our business expansion in India," Kato added. HMSI is also carrying out a study on electric mobility plans and it is expected to be finalised in a year, he said.

Guleria said the company will upgrade only four to five models from its existing line up to BS-VI post implementation of the new emission norms.

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