Honda Cars India has revealed that the company will be launching three new vehicle models in the domestic car market in the ongoing financial year of 2018-19. The Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Honda Cars India, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen further said that the company is preparing to launch six new models within the coming three years’ time. The Japanese auto major has also posted a healthy sales growth of 13 percent in India in the last 2017-18 fiscal with sales of 1,56,452 vehicles.
The three new car models from the house of Honda that are all set to launch in India in this fiscal are namely – the second generation Honda Amaze subcompact sedan, the new-gen CR-V compact premium SUV and the new Civic premium sedan. All these three cars were displayed at the Auto Expo 2018 in February. The new generation Honda CR-V will be coming with a first time diesel engine option in India, while also coming in a first time 7-seater configuration.
Speaking on the development, Sen said that in a measure of the company’s commitment to the Indian car market, it plans to strengthen its presence in the mass segment as well as the upper segments. The 2nd generation Honda Amaze with its bold new styling and premium cabin will reinforce Honda's position in the Indian mass segment. The launch of the internationally successful 5th generation Honda CR-V and the long awaited 10th generation Honda Civic will ensure a strong presence of Honda Cars India in the upper car segments. Both these premium models will be offered in diesel versions as well, and thus, the company is confident about expanding its market in the higher segments.
At present, Honda Cars India product range comprises of the Brio small hatch, Amaze subcompact sedan, City mid-sized sedan, WR-V crossover, BR-V SUV, CR-V premium SUV and the Accord Hybrid luxury sedan. The premium Honda Accord Hybrid model is a fully imported one that comes from Thailand, while the other models are manufactured or assembled in India.
Apart from revealing the company’s upcoming product strategy in India, Sen also offered clarification regarding some doubts and queries to the media.
He said that the primary challenge towards developing electric vehicles in India is the missing infrastructure and high cost of production. He says if Honda Cars India is to bring in an electric variant of one of its existing models, then its price will be at least 1.5 times more than the regular model. The company is also studying if the Indian buyers are ready to adopt an electric model.
Honda Cars India has no plans to bring in the Civic Type are, as theirs is no market for a high-performance hatchback here. The company once thought of launching the NSX supercar, but offering after sales for a highly niche segment is not feasible, hence the plan was shelved.
The peppier VTEC engine was replaced with the practical i-VTEC engine in the City sedan, as the VTEC can’t meet the current emission norms, and Honda India is focusing on fuel economy due to customer demands.