Honda Cars India is shifting the entire production of its sedan – City to its Rajasthan plant from Greater Noida facility as the latter is gearing up to meet the ongoing demand of its recently-launched mid-sized multi purpose vehicle Mobilio.
As a result, the company said that the production of its bestseller – City will be halted for a month (in August) and the production of the model will start in the first week of September at its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan.
The company currently has two plants – Greater Noida and Tapukara. City and small car – Brio were the key models getting manufactured at company's Greater Noida plant, which has a capacity of 1.2 lakh units annually, with two shifts. The same facility is also catering to the production of Mobilio, which received almost 10,000 bookings within 2 weeks of its launch.
On the other hand, Honda's Tapukara plant with an installed capacity of 1,20,000 annually, currently only manufactures its compact sedan – Amaze in single shift.
"With the commencement of production of the Honda Mobilio at the Greater Noida plant, it was decided to shift the production of Honda City to the Tapukara to be able to cater to the strong demand for all the models," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
Company's all new City, which was launched in January this year has also been receiving a good response in the market, making it the market leader within the category. The company on an average has been selling over 7,000 units of City on a monthly basis, with more than 50% market share in the segment. The cumulatively sales of Honda City for January - July 2014 period stood at 53,605 units.
With production being halted for a month, dealers said that the waiting period of the car may go up to 3-4 months. However, company said that the shifting of City will ensure better availability of both the cars.
"After smooth start of Honda City production at Tapukara, we will begin the second shift before the end of this year," said company spokesperson.
Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Honda Cars India, said, "The shift of City production to Tapukara will ensure better availability and timely deliveries of Honda City and the newly launched Mobilio. We have received an overwhelming response to both the City and the Mobilio, and it is necessary to maximise production at both the plants for the benefit of the customer."
Despite the slowdown in the passenger vehicle segment, sales of Honda Cars India grew 40% this year (between April-July), on the back of new launches and its entry into the diesel category.