A day at Honda's new Tapukara manufacturing unit
Modified On Mar 03, 2014 06:11 PM By Mayank
Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL), a highly acclaimed brand in the Indian auto sector, is recognized severely among masses because of its stylish cars that tend to woo an individual with their charisma and grace. Already known, 2013 wasn't so kind for most of the auto-majors in India, but Honda has an all new different story to tell. When almost every auto company was striving for sales; the Japanese auto maker strike the right chord by launching Amaze, a mid-sized sedan, in April 2013, which dominated the first half of 2013 comprehensively. Then, in the second half of 2013, there came the unveiling of City saloon, for the first time ever in diesel fuel trim, that gave company's sales charts a new height of glory.
And as 2014 is finally up, Honda fans have one more reason to rejoice and rekindle as the company has started its second manufacturing facility at Tapukara, Rajasthan; henceby, gifting the land of sand dunes its first ever manufacturing unit. This manufacturing plant took a duration of almost 7 years to get everything in shape and an expenditure of around 3526 crores. The foundation stone was laid way back in July 2007 and the first phase of work got over by September 2008. This plant comes handy for both Honda as well as the residents of Rajasthan, as it will not only bulk up the numbers of vehicles but also provide employment to as many as 3200 people across the province. Several prominent personalities graced the inauguration function of this facility; the foremost being Ms. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister, Rajasthan, Mr. Takeshi Yagi, Ambassador of Japan, and Mr Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, Managing Officer, Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Japan.
Ms. Raje lighted the lamps and wheeled out the first vehicle, Honda Amaze, from the Tapukara facility. Establishment of this new manufacturing unit would certainly boost Honda's sales as well as position in the Indian auto industry in several ways. Firstly, it would eradicate the demand supply gap completely and ensure timely deliveries of Honda vehicles. With no 'Waiting Period' this plant would yield a total of 60,000 units per annum, which would be followed by 1,20,000 units later on. Spread over an area of 450 acres, this new facility has every modern facility within the premises such as forging, press shop, powertrain shop, weld shop, paint shop, plastic moulding, engine assembly, frame assembly and engine testing facility.
Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President Marketing and Sales, was also present on this occasion. Mr. Sen remained tightlipped about the developments surfacing inside the company's think-tank and answered every query in his very own diplomatic tone, without divulging much details. However, when asked upon if one could catch the new 2014 Honda City manufacturing out of this plant; he replied that Honda's current plant at Greater Noida wheels out its every vehicle ranging from the Brio to the CR-V, hence currently there are no such plans, but if demand rises then 2014 City too would be manufactured at Tapukara unit. Adding to it, he also confirmed that the company would be launching the Mobilio MPV around July 2014, followed by the company's another hatchback, Jazz, which would debut around the festive season in the months of October-November; but it seems impossible as the company would at least keep a gap of 6 months between two fresh product launches. Hence, Jazz would only see the daylight in India by the first quarter of 2015.
Mr Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, Managing Officer, Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Japan and representative of Development, Purchasing in Asia & Oceania region said, “ India is an important market for Honda and with the beginning of car production at Tapukara plant, we are advancing our commitment to expand Honda's business in India. We are thankful to the Government of Rajasthan for extending all the support to participate in the industrialization of the state. Though our products and operations, our goal is to make Honda a company that society wants to exist.” Mr Hironori Kanayama, President & CEO, Honda Cars India Ltd, too joined him and said, “ The beginning of car production from our 2nd plant is a significant milestone for HCIL. With overwhelming response to our current models like Honda Amaze & all-new City and promising future line-up, we are ready to cater to the strong demand for Honda cars from our customers in India.”