At the launch of the 2014 City sedan earlier this year, top Honda officials didn’t reveal a clear launch time frame for the Jazz B+ segment, which has been discontinued in India for more than a year now. Late 2014 or early 2015 was their common refrain. Now though, more clarity is emerging about the new Jazz hatchback’s launch in India. The car will go into production at Honda’s Tapukara factory in Rajasthan from July 2014.
It is the usual practice of car makers to begin production of a to-be-launched car a couple of months before the said car’s actual launch. Keeping this time frame in mind, the 2014 Honda Jazz seems primed for a festive season launch this year. The all-new 2014 Jazz, sitting on a new platform it shared with the City sedan and the Vezel compact SUV, was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, piquing interest of prospective B+ segment buyers.
A large hatchback known for its versatility, the 2014 Jazz continues to follow Honda’s Man-Maximum-Machine-Minimum design philosophy to maximize space for its occupants. The car will rival the upcoming 2015 Hyundai i20 hatchback and is expected to be priced similar to the Hyundai model. To be available with both petrol and turbo diesel engine options, the 2014 Jazz will continue with a 1.2 liter i-VTEC petrol and add the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel motor.
Expect both manual and automatic gearbox options to be served up with the Jazz, with Honda likely to offer a 5 speed torque converter automatic gearbox that is also seen on the likes of the Brio and the Amaze. In its last coming to India, the Jazz suffered poor sales due to Honda’s “premium” pricing strategy. This time around, a competitive price tag starting at the 5 lakh rupee mark could result given Honda’s focus on a high amount of localization.
However, Honda doesn’t seem to be aiming for the moon in terms of volumes. The Japanese automaker’s projected production volumes of 20,000 annual units for the 2014 Jazz at Tapukara indicate that the car will continue to be positioned at the premium end of the Indian B+ segment hatchback space. With sales target of under 2,000 monthly units, the 2014 Jazz seems tailored to cater to a discerning set of hatchback buyers, who value refinement, practicality and versatility, more than outright performance.
In other news, the Mobilio MPV’s production will begin from June this year, at Honda’s Greater Noida factory. The 7 seat Mobilio MPV will rival the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga in India, and will be sold with petrol (1.5 liter i-VTEC) and turbo diesel (1.5 liter i-DTEC) engine options. The MPV has already made its debut at Indonesia, an MPV heavy market. Expect pricing to begin in the whereabouts of the 6.5 lakh rupee mark. Honda plans to produce 45,000 units of the Mobilio each year, suggesting that the MPV isn’t looking to unseat the Ertiga or the the Innova from their perches.