It's quite evident that Honda's decision to end production at its Greater Noida plant has been taken to secure the brand's immediate future here. As per the company president though, this decision will not influence the brand's future investment plans for India.
As per an official statement released on their website, Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) has, with immediate effect, put a stop to all vehicle production activity at its Greater Noida plant in Uttar Pradesh. The company is not getting rid of the site though, for now. As per the official statement, 'All head office functions, India R&D centre and spare parts operations (including warehouse) for automobiles, two-wheelers and power product business will continue to operate from Greater Noida.'
Over the past few years, Honda's 150-acre Greater Noida plant, with a capacity of 1,00,000 units/annum, focused less on production (only the new City was being produced there) and more on the assembly operations of its higher-end CKD kit-based models like the CR-V and the Civic. But with constantly dwindling sales figures of these model, not to mention the slow down caused by the pandemic, the plant was functioning nowhere near its full capacity. Thus, with the closure of the plant, Honda's also pulled the plug on these two models. As a result, HCIL's entire vehicle production will now be concentrated to its second facility at Tapukara, Rajasthan.
Sharing his thoughts on the matter, Mr Gaku Nakanishi (President & CEO – Honda Cars India) said, 'Despite an uptick in sales in the last three months, the current market conditions remain unpredictable for the industry at large. The impact of COVID-19 has pressed us to strengthen our constitution and to achieve the same, HCIL has decided to consolidate its manufacturing operations by making the Tapukara plant a unified manufacturing base. HCIL continues to believe in the resilience of the Indian economy and hope for a quicker recovery of the market. India is an extremely important market in Honda’s global strategy and HCIL is committed to bringing its latest and advanced technology models including electrified vehicles in future.'
The 450-acre Tapukara plant in Rajasthan, with an annual production capacity of 1,80,000 units, will now also incorporate the manufacturing of the new fifth-gen City, alongside other high-volume models like the Jazz, Amaze and the WR-V. As per the website, it looks like it's also the end of the road for the previous-gen Honda City that was still in production alongside the new fifth-gen model.