The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Aparjeet Kaushal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Auto Expo 2016 has been full of surprises, we get to see many new arrivals in India, Mustang being on of them.Now it’s Honda’s turn to present something spectacular in from of a small city bike with the same body formation as that of a scooter. But unlike the past this is neither a new bike nor a new scooter from the Japanese two wheeler behemoth. As Honda continues to pursue its ambition of becoming number one in the Indian market, it is trying something very bold. The Navi is all-Indian; that’s the first of many new things the company is trying. What I mean is, this is the first new product worked on right here in India, with no inputs from Japan. It also uses aggregates and technology that Honda has already transferred to HMSI, meaning it didn’t require a lot of lead time to develop. And then there is the fact that Honda is playing with fire by trying to create a new segment altogether. The Navi is partly motorcycle, partly scooter and partly – well I don’t know what to call it! It looks like a toy bike to some, and like a scooter in bike’s clothing to others.
So why is Honda doing this? It believes there is a market for a product like this – in terms of what it represents – not how it looks. That means a two wheeler that is easy to ride, efficient, conservative on power yet zippy and fun to ride, easily manoeuvrable and light on the pocket. To many that describes a scooter too, but Honda wanted to create a proposition even more attractive than the scooter and one that specifically targets the younger buyer. The kind of buyer who doesn’t want to spend too much but still wants their ride to be an expression of themselves. That explains the various avatars the Navi has been launched in. The daring step can pave a road to all new segment yet to be tapped by the motor manufacturing companies.