Honda insider confirms the CB350 could be exported to other markets

A leading figure from Honda India has confirmed talks are taking place to see if the CB350 can be exported to other markets

Honda-CB350-RS

THE Honda H’Ness CB350 and CB350 RS could eventually become European and UK models in the future, after a leading figure within Honda Motorcycles India (HMSI) confirmed they are waiting for the 'green signal’ from Honda Japan.

The news comes from ETAuto.com which is quoting HMSI Director (Sales and Marketing) Yadvinder Singh Guleria. The article seems to only refer to the more classically-styled H’Ness, although as that and the newly announced RS share the same platform, we assume that the same could be said for both bikes.

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Guleria terms the CB350 as ‘one model which is Made in India for the world’, going onto top say that the main priority for the team is working to meet the demand for the popular new model. The CB350 has been a very solid seller since its launch last year, with 10,000 units sold in India alone. It doesn’t take much to imagine how these numbers could be bolstered further by exporting the bikes, although with COVID and Brexit pouring a high-level of uncertainty into the mix, the jury is out on if and when it will happen.

Guleria does though confirm that speculative talks between HMSI and Honda Japan have begun, with him stating they are waiting for the ‘green signal’ that the exports can begin.

He said:

"Since this model is already meeting the European regulations, there are many countries where this model could be exported. So we are in discussion with our headquarters. Already the model is three months old in the domestic market and there is interest from other Honda companies across the globe.

"We are working at the backend now to minimise this waiting period. But for sure this is one model which is Made in India for the world. There is big potential. We are waiting and once we get a green signal from headquarters in Japan, we can start the exports. Potential does exist and we are quite hopeful,"

Could the Honda CB350 really make it to the UK?

There is a lot of questions still remaining over whether this could actually happen. On the one hand, you have a large swell of interest in the model from riders in the UK. It’s a simple, cost-effective single-cylinder bike, with old-school charm and a high level of technology and spec when compared to the rivals. On the other hand, we have a motorcycle market that is having a bit of a post-Covid wobbly right now, with sales falling last month for the first time in a long time.

That said, the CB350 could be sold almost right out of the crate, with many of the mechanical hoops, such as emissions and noise, already jumped through. The whole café racer and the custom scene is another factor, with the UK market seeing a big uptake in sales in the last ten years. It seems strange to not imagine Honda wanting a slice of, so long as the export and importation costs don’t make the whole thing economically impractical.

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