Competition and the lack of a diesel engine seems to have jolted a Honda resting on the laurels of City’s one-time success. Chances are there’ll be a face-lifted version of the City, with a price slash to boot, aimed at increasing its flagship sedan’s sales.
The company had on June 14 responded to sagging Honda City sales by reducing its price by up to Rs 66,000. There are no confirmed reports of a new-and-improved model to replace its ageing City, but a concept of the next-generation City was unveiled at the 2008 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.
Its images hinted at the launch of a production model based on the concept version of the City.
The model, complete with a carbon-fibre trim on the grille and door sills, slightly tweaked outside-rear view mirrors, a rear-view camera, LED headlights and tail lamps, sat on a new set of alloy wheels. It also sported side skirts.
The production model will likely carry some, if not all of these changes, and Honda may just clinch a winner. And that could be the magic bullet that gives the company’s a larger share of this segment.
CarToq had earlier reported that Volkswagen sold 6,839 units of the Vento while Honda managed to sell only 4,314 units of City in March-April 2011. In May, the City slipped further, selling only 1,828 units while the Vento sold 2,403 units. The new Verna too beat City and sold 4,357 units. Related: Volkswagen Vento outshines Honda City
The Honda City currently is powered by a 1.5L, 4-cylinder new generation i-VTEC engine that maxes at 116 bhp @ 6600 rpm and a top torque of 146 Nm @ 4800 rpm.
No one knows whether the new version sport a new engine, but Honda would do well to consider the option — after all, competition in the sedan segment is heating up with new cars loaded with features crying for buyers’ attention.
(Photo Courtesy: Carscoop)