Apart from getting a top notch motorcycle, in order to beat Royal Enfield – Honda will also need a cult following
Launched earlier this year in September, Honda CB350 has emerged as a popular choice in its class. Sales are on the rise, from 1,290 units in October to 4,067 units in November. This is MoM gain of more than 200%. However, when compared to segment leader Classic 350, sales of CB350 are still a fraction. In November, sales of Classic 350 stood at 39,391 units.
CB350 brotherhood ride
To boost sales further, Honda is actively working on a number of strategies. If we talk about things that are working great for CB350, it can be said that the motorcycle has the looks, a powerful engine, hi-tech features, throaty exhaust note and offers optimal rider comfort.
However, the one thing that seems to be lacking is the cult-like fan following enjoyed by rivals such as Classic 350. This usually works as a significant influencing factor when a new customer starts looking for a 350 cc motorcycle.
To build a sense of community around CB350, Honda recently organized a brotherhood ride for CB350 owners in multiple cities across India. The idea was to thank customers who have put their trust in a new product and also allow them to interact with other like-minded folks. Hopefully, such events will set the stage for further collaborations among CB350 owners, eventually leading to the creation of a dedicated community.
The brotherhood event organized by Honda in Delhi, started at Honda BigWing Topline dealership in Gurugram. Participants were briefed about the ride and they also had the chance to interact with RJ Khurafati Nitin of Big FM. The ride was from the dealership to Throttle Shrottle, a popular eatery located on Gurgaon Faridabad Expressway. The distance is approximately 50 km.
At the restaurant, CB350 owners were treated with a sumptuous breakfast. A photo session was also organized. At the end, participants received a gift as well from Honda. The event was properly planned and well-managed. It is expected that Honda will be organizing more such events in other cities to build an active community of CB350 users.
CB350 cafe racer
To give more options to customers, Honda might launch a new motorcycle next year based on CB350 architecture. This will be a cafe racer that will be sleeker and sportier, but will retain its retro character.
Talking a bit about rival Royal Enfield, the company has plans to launch several new products in the coming years. The first of Royal Enfield’s next-gen products, Meteor 350, has already gotten off to a good start. In November, sales stood at 7,031 units, making it the second bestselling 350 cc motorcycle in the country. A 350 cc version of Interceptor 650 is also being tested and could be launched soon.
So, even though CB350 has got a good initial response, it has a tough road ahead of it. It will be interesting to see how this space evolves over the next few years.