Honda Motorcycle to invest Rs 300 cr in Manesar plant, R

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New Delhi, Dec 25 (UNI) Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) said it will invest about Rs 300 crore over the next three years for capacity expansion of its Manesar plant and research and development of new models.

''The funds will be used to upgrade the company's Manesar plant, besides, investing in the research and development for new models,'' HMSI President and CEO Shinji Aoyama said.

The company will also launch four to five new models and increase annual manufacturing capacity to 1.2 million from the current one million units by 2010.

HMSI will unveil a premium segment scooter in the upcoming Auto Expo.

The company also plans to launch a new motorcycle in the first half of next fiscal as expects the demand to grow in the world's second-largest two-wheeler market. But Mr Aoyama declined to reveal any details about the vehicles.

The company is confident of good sales figures despite the slump in the motorcycles segment.

Motorcycle sales have fallen in India this year as a five-year-high interest rate deterred buyers. Sales have fallen by 12.3 per cent in the eight months ended November 30, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) figures.

Scooter sales, however, have risen by 16.8 per cent in the same duration.

''The demand for automatic scooters in metropolitan cities is rising because of traffic jams as these provide hassle-free transportation,'' Mr Aoyama said.

The company expects to sell one million vehicles in the next fiscal. Of these seven lakh units will be scooters and the rest will be motorcycles.

''We expect the sales to touch 6.10 lakh units of scooters and 2.7 lakh units of motorcycles in the current fiscal year,'' Mr Aoyama added.

UNI

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