Japanese automaker Honda has moved past Tata Motors in January 2019 sales to become India’s 4th largest automaker, behind Maruti, Hyundai and Mahindra, which sit at 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively. While Honda sold 18,261 cars in January 2019, Tata Motors managed 17,404 cars. While Honda registered a 23 % rise in sales compared to January 2018, Tata Motors’ sales have fallen by as much as 13 % compared to the same month last year.
But it’s still advantage Tata!
We’re saying this because Tata Motors has not one, not two but three big ticket car launches in 2019. While the Harrier SUV has just been launched, the 45X premium hatchback and the 7 seat version of the Harrier – called the H7X – will be launched in the second half of this year. All three cars, put together, are expected to give Tata Motors a sales boost of at least 6,000-8,000 units each month. This boost should help Tata Motors claw its way up, and ahead of Honda in the coming months.
On the other hand, Honda does not have any major volume pulling cars to be launched this year. The all-new Civic, which will be launched in the next few weeks is expected to do about than 500 units each month. Apart from the Civic, Honda won’t launch any major car this year. The big volume pullers in Honda’s Indian line up continue to be the City sedan, the WR-V hatchback based crossover and the Amaze compact sedan. Of these cars, the City is showing signs of ageing while the Amaze and WR-V continue to bring steady sales for the brand.
Taking a brief look at Honda’s next big thing for India, the Civic, the sedan is making its comeback 5 years after it was discontinued from the Indian market. The new Civic is the 10th generation model, which has also received a facelift in international markets recently. The car will be sold with a petrol engine and a diesel engine (for the first time in India). Manual and automatic gearboxes will be on offer with the petrol motor while the diesel will be a manual-only affair.
The Civic will be positioned as a logical upgrade for Honda City owners, especially those who have bought the car sometime between 2014 and 2015, and are ready to upgrade to a bigger, plusher sedan. Honda will be seeking to capitalize on the goodwill that the Civic brand enjoys in India. The all-new car will be a lot different from the one that was discontinued. From styling that’s totally different to revised interiors and features, the new Civic is also expected to be pricier than the older version. Expect prices to start from between 16-17 lakhs. The car will be assembled in India through the CKD kit route. It will challenge the likes of the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Hyundai Elantra and the Skoda Octavia in the D-Segment sedan space.