Japanese auto giant Honda today said it will set up a third two-wheeler manufacturing facility in India at Narsapuram, in Karnataka, with an installed annual capacity of 12 lakh units by 2013. The company, which recently exited from India’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero Honda, will also double the output of the upcoming second plant at Tapukara in Rajasthan to 12 lakh units by the end of this fiscal. Honda Motor Co, however, did not mention any investment figure for expanding its business in the growing Indian two-wheeler market.

“In order to realise Honda’s vision to provide good products with speed and affordability, the third plant will be built in the Bangalore area in the southern part of India. “The third plant is scheduled to become operational in the first half of 2013, with annual production capacity of 12 lakh units,” the company said in a statement. The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary — Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) — is currently investing about Rs 500 crore for setting up its second facility at Tapukara in Rajasthan and it will be inaugurated on June 1 with an initial installed capacity of 6 lakh units per annum.

“HMSI decided to double the annual production capacity of this plant to 12 lakh units in March, 2012,” the company said. Following this expansion exercises, HMSI’s total installed capacity will increase to 40 lakh units annually by 2013 from 16 lakh units at present. “India represents the world’s second largest motorcycle market behind only China and industry-wide motorcycle sales in India for 2010 reached 1.13 crore units (up 30 per cent compared to 2009).

Following its exit from the world’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero Honda, Honda had said it would dethrone its erstwhile joint venture with the Hero Group from the number one position in the country within the next 10 years. The company had announced that it would intensify focus on Hero Honda’s stronghold, the mass market segment, where it had been restricted due to the joint venture, and would launch its first 100-cc bike by next year.

Source: The Economic Times