Honda Motor’s Indian subsidiary will be moving its research & development base for two-wheelers in India from Gurgaon to Manesar plant, even as Hero MotoCorp is forging new alliances and ties to set up its own full-fledged R&D centre. The move will help Honda Motorcycle & Limited, the second largest domestic two-wheeler maker today, to churn out new models faster, especially in the mass market category, and take on its erstwhile partner Hero Group head on to achieve its long term goal of becoming the number one two-wheeler maker in the country.

The R&D centre, which runs under the company called Honda R&D India Private Limited (HRID), will move from a rented set up at IFFCO chowk in Gurgaon to an integrated R&D set-up in the HMSI Manesar plant, where a new building is being currently built. The centre is likely to be operational in the next three to six months.

Honda Motor Company is expected to invest “several hundred crore” in this expanded set-up and aims to more than double the number of engineers to 200-300, said people close to development. The new set-up will move beyond developing minor model changes to styling and design, prototype development, testing & validation and component development with vendor to offer products faster at lower cost.