HMSI plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan (representational image)
HMSI plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan (representational image)Reuters

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) commenced operations at its fourth manufacturing plant at Vithalapur (Mandal taluk, Ahmedabad district, Gujarat) in India Wednesday, Feb.17. The new plant is the world's largest facility dedicated to scooter-manufacturing.

The plant was inaugurated in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, Honda Motor Co Operating Officer and Chief Operating Officer - Asia and Oceania Regional Operations Noriake Abe, Honda Motor Co operating officer, director and COO, motorcycle operations Shinji Aoyama, HMSI president and CEO Keita Muramatsu and HMSI chief production officer Toshinobu Motai.

Spread over 250 acres, HMSI's fourth plant's operations are scheduled in two phases. The first production line with 6 lakh units of annual production capacity started operation on Wednesday. It will be followed by the second line of additional 6 lakh unit capacity in the middle of 2016. In total, Honda will manufacture 12 lakh automatic scooters annually from this plant.

The new plant has been built with a total investment of Rs 1,100 crore, and will directly employ close to 3,000 people. With the new plant, HMSI's total annual production capacity will increase to 58 lakh units, including 16 lakh units at its first plant in Haryana, 12 lakh units at its second plant in Rajasthan and 18 lakh units at its third plant in Karnataka.

Elaborating on how the Asia Oceania region (which includes India) contributes 56% to Honda's global sales, Noriake Abe said: "In case of two-wheelers, ASEAN countries contribute 1.38 crore sales, which is 80 percent of Honda's global unit sales, with production facilities in nine countries. India is the fastest-growing economy in the world, and one of the most important and fast-growing markets for Honda. With this vision of growth, today we have achieved a new milestone for our business in India. We are inaugurating our fourth factory in Gujarat. This will make India attain the No 1 position in all ASEAN countries."

[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]

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