Merchandise Serves more than just a Revenue Source for Automobile Companies: Honda India
Merchandise Serves more than just a Revenue Source for Automobile Companies: Honda India

With automotive brands embracing the trend of merchandising and licensing in India, Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) recently launched its official merchandise line, the 'Honda Collection.' This collection offers a diverse range of merchandise designed to complement the modern lifestyle of Honda enthusiasts.

From stylish apparel like T-shirts, jackets, and caps, each item seamlessly combines functionality with aesthetics. The products are available at Honda retail sales outlets. 

In an interview with, Kunal Behl, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Honda Cars India Limited, discussed the strategy behind launching the merchandise collection and HCIL's approach to building brand loyalty through the 'Honda Collection.'

Providing Holistic Experience

Behl explained, "At Honda, we are committed to providing not only premium products to our customers but also believe in offering a comprehensive experience at every step of their journey in purchasing a Honda vehicle."

He added, "The Honda Collection is an extension of this premium experience. We aim to strengthen connections with all Honda enthusiasts and loyalists beyond just our products. The strategic rationale behind the launch of the Honda Collection revolves around enhancing brand affinity and connectivity among customers."

Expanding on HCIL's Strategy

Behl elaborated, "While there is already a strong community of Honda loyalists in the country, the introduction of the 'Honda Collection' has the potential to further solidify the brand's presence."

He continued, "By making the collection available across our dealerships nationwide, we aim to create a more comprehensive brand experience that goes beyond the showroom floor. This move aligns well with the inclination of Indian consumers towards brands that not only offer products but also resonate with their lifestyle and values."

Connecting with Consumers

The market for driving apparel was estimated to be USD 15.59 billion in 2023, USD 16.50 billion in 2024, and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.93 percent to reach USD 23.35 billion by 2030.

Discussing the trend of purchasing merchandise, Behl stated, "With younger audiences increasingly entering the purchasing market, the merchandise line, comprising trendy apparel, can particularly appeal to this demographic. They are not only seeking vehicles but also want to express their identity and affiliation with brands."

He added, "Merchandise serves as more than just a revenue source for automotive companies; it serves as a means of integrating the brand into customers' daily lives and interests. By offering a diverse range of products, companies can deepen their relationship with customers, ultimately fostering long-term brand loyalty."

Tackling Counterfeiting 

Addressing Counterfeiting Concerns The 2023 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List) released by the US Trade Representatives identified 39 online and 33 physical markets. The report included three Indian markets across New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, and three online markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.

According to a survey by the Authentication Solution Providers' Association (ASPA) and the Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL), consumer perception suggests that counterfeiting affects 25-30 percent of the market, higher than general industry expectations. Counterfeiting is most prevalent in the FMCG, apparel, and agro-chemical sectors, accounting for approximately 30 percent.

When asked about Honda's approach to tackling counterfeiting of its products, Behl said, "We have implemented all necessary measures and checks to address counterfeiting. These products are offered in the market for those who admire the brand. With this in mind, we have priced them competitively. The entire line of the 'Honda Collection' is available at all our dealer sales outlets nationwide."

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