Japanese two-wheeler giant Honda today said it will launch at least four products every year in India with its first integrated R&D centre here, that will also serve as a global innovation hub, coming onstream.
The company's wholly-owned subsidiary Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) will also hire 2,000 people at its upcoming third manufacturing facility in Karnataka during 2013-14.
"Our plan is to launch at least four products every year from this R&D centre. As India becomes a global innovation hub for Honda, customers can look forward to new products faster," HMSI President and CEO Keita Muramatsu told reporters here.
The new R&D centre along with HMSI technical centre currently has a strength of 200 engineers and developers, he added.
Elaborating on its product plans, HMSI Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Yadvinder S Guleria said, "Currently, we are developing four new products from this R&D Centre. The first of these products will hit the roads during the 2013-14 financial year."
Going forward, the company will develop and launch both refreshed versions and new models of motorcycles and scooters from this research centre, he added.
The company today introduced upgraded versions of its three scooters, Activa, Dio, Aviator with HET engines. While Activa and Dio are priced at Rs 47,148 and Rs 44,701 respectively, Aviator is priced between Rs 48,212 and Rs 53,531.
The company claims that these new variants will give a mileage of 60 km per litre each, compared to 54 km per litre earlier.
Honda had started its partial research work in India in 2003 from a rented accommodation in Gurgaon before moving to its factory site here.
When asked about the third manufacturing facility in Karnataka, Muramatsu said, "The third plant will start production during first quarter next fiscal with full capacity. Our total output would be 40 lakh per annum from all the plants"
He further said the company will hire 2,000 people at the third plant during the next fiscal, taking the total manpower of the company to 13,000.
The company currently has two facilities at Manesar and Tapukara in Rajasthan with annual output of 16 lakh units and 12 lakh units respectively.
The company is also expecting about 17% jump in its total sales during this financial year at 27.5 lakh units. Out of that, it hopes to sell 26 lakh units in the domestic market.