During the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, senior management at Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) confirmed that the retooling of their plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan, for electric vehicle (EV) production is set to commence in 2024. This plant in Tapukara is the sole operational facility for Honda in India.
Within the next three years, HCIL plans to launch a battery electric vehicle (BEV), and the first Honda EV for the Indian market will be an SUV based on the Honda Elevate platform. Tapukara will serve as the global production hub for this EV, which is currently in development and expected to be available for sale in 2025.
The Tapukara plant, which is the only operational facility for HCIL in India since the closure of its original Greater Noida plant in late 2020, currently manufactures the Amaze, City, and Elevate models, alongside the upcoming EV. While there is available capacity at the plant, HCIL’s President and CEO, Takuya Tsumura, confirmed that there are plans to increase capacity. The possibility of establishing a second plant has not been ruled out, but it would be a more long-term consideration based on production volumes.
The expansion in production capacity aims not only to cater to domestic sales but also to support exports of the Elevate (which is yet to begin) and the EV once it enters production. Like the Elevate, the EV is expected to be a global model and will be exported to a wider range of markets compared to the City and Amaze.
Although Honda has not disclosed a specific investment amount, they have confirmed that additional funding has been allocated for the new EV and future electric vehicles. Tsumura stated that this investment is a natural step as they plan to launch a BEV within the next three years and are committed to advancing their electrification efforts.
In the short term, HCIL aims for a 35 percent growth by the end of the year and plans to introduce at least one new model each year. The brand has also indicated that they will consider introducing some global models as low-volume Completely Built-Up (CBU) imports, although the specific models are still under evaluation.