Honda seems really pleased as punch with the buzz around its new 1.5 litre iDtec engine that will debut in the Honda Amaze in a few days. The company now plans to launch five vehicles by 2016, including the Honda Amaze, all of which will get a diesel engine option.
Although Honda may be a little late to the diesel party in India, it wants to make up for lost time by getting aggressive with its launches and shoehorning its 1.5 litre engine into as many products as it can get to gather some volumes. The company is investing Rs. 2,500 crore in its new plant at Tapukara in Rajasthan, about 80 km from Delhi, which will produce 160,000 diesel engines a year and 120,000 cars (in addition to 120,000 cars at Greater Noida). The engine will have a high level of localization (90% localization), and will serve as an export oriented plant for this engine for Asia and UK. Also read: Honda’s diesel car plans
On the sidelines of a conference to talk about its plant and showcase its new engine, as well as introduce its new “managing officer” Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, Honda also revealed it would be launching five products, and said “all new products from Honda will have a diesel option.” Here’s what we’ve managed to decipher from different conversations with Honda officials.
Honda will be looking quite aggressively at the compact MPV segment. It’s quite likely that Honda will be looking at the Brio-based MPV. This Brio-based MPV concept, Concept S was showcased at Beijing. This vehicle is likely to be a seven-seater compact MPV. This vehicle will compete with the likes of the Maruti Ertiga, and will come with the 1.5 litre diesel, as well as petrol engine. Also read: Honda plans to launch compact MPV based on Brio
The compact SUV space in India is one of the fastest growing segments right now, with the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport, upcoming Maruti compact SUV all looking at the space. Honda too is likely to bring out a compact SUV based on the Jazz platform. This too would be a candidate for the 1.5 litre iDtec engine from Honda. Also read: Honda MPV to compete with Ertiga
The 1.5 litre iDtec is also likely to be fitted in a small car from Honda. The Honda Brio would be the next product to get the diesel engine, but beside that there is another hatchback in the premium hatchback space that will come with the diesel. This is likely to be the new Honda Jazz that is scheduled for launch next year. The car will directly compete with the Hyundai i20 as well as Swift, while the Brio would be a notch lower.
A new mid-size sedan from Honda will also get the 1.5 litre iDtec engine. This is likely to be the next generation Honda City that could come out as early as October 2014. The Honda City at present is the leader in petrol mid-size cars and continues to sell close to 3000 units a month, despite not having a diesel at the moment. The new City will come with a diesel option. Also read: Honda Amaze VX diesel road test and review: An amazing package
The fifth product is the Honda Amaze compact sedan that’s coming up in a few days. Share your thoughts on this roll out plan from Honda between now and 2016. We’ll keep you updated as more information trickles in.