Chennai, May 9 (IANS) Car maker Honda Cars India Ltd, which is targeting double digit growth this fiscal, will be launching an hybrid Honda Accord, expand its dealers network and also increase component exports to Rs.1,400 crore, a company official said on Monday.
The company will be expanding its production capacity at its Rajasthan plant by 60,000 units per annum to 180,000 units per annum at an outlay of around Rs.380 crore, taking its total production capacity up to 300,000 units per annum, said senior vice president, marketing and sales, Jnaneswar Sen.
“Last year we sold around 192,000 units. This year, we are looking at double digit growth,” he told reporters after launching the new Honda BR-V compact sports utility vehicle (SUV).
He said the company is planning to expand its presence in the commercial segment – where its presence is low – with its Mobilio but however ruled out entering the radio taxi segment.
Sen said the company will increase its dealer network from 298 to 340 by March 2017.
He also said that the company will be shipping out engine components worth Rs.1,400 crore this year – an increase of Rs.400 crore over last year’s exports.
About the spurt in sales of petrol-powered cars as against diesel variants, Sen said car buyers do not want uncertainities with regard to diesel cars.
He said when the gap between diesel and petrol prices narrowed, the customer shift from diesel to petrol was gradual and the company was able to manage that.
But with the apex court banning registration of high-powered diesel cars in the National Capital Region (NCR), the customers now are preferring petrol engine cars.
He said on one hand there is a waiting list for petrol cars, there are diesel powered cars that are waiting for customers.
Honda Cars India also exports cars using Ennore Port near here, with Sen noting that shipping out through Ennore Port works out economical when the total freight cost is taken into account.
He said the company is also exploring possibility of using the Pipavav port.
Speaking about the company’s new model – Honda BR-V – he said the model will address the unmet needs of the segment like a third row seat.
The petrol engine variant is priced between Rs.8.91 lakh-Rs.12.19 lakh while the diesel engine models are priced between Rs.9.99 lakh-Rs.13.13 lakh.
Sen said the company will launch an hybrid version of Honda Accord this September, and ut will be the flagship model.