Japanese car maker Honda has plans of launching a small car that will be positioned under the Brio hatchback in terms of pricing. This hatchback is likely to be launched in India and in other developing car markets around the world in 2017. That’s the gist of the information presently available about the new Honda A-Entry small car.
What to expect from the new Honda, which could be pitted against the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon?
As Honda cars have always carried a reputation of coming with a premium feel and high quality levels, expect the new small car to be no different. To achieve a price tag between Rs. 3 lakh to 4 lakh though, Honda will have to resort to some cost cutting.
Also see: Honda’s 2014 launches
The all-glass tail gate of the Brio hatchback and the lack of additional sound proofing on the Amaze compact sedan are two such examples of cost cutting bits from Honda. Don’t be surprised if the new Honda small car comes with similar cost cutting bits.
A petrol engine that measures under 1 liter in cubic capacity is likely to power the new Honda small car. Honda does sell Kei cars in Japan with turbo and non-turbo petrol engines measuring just 660cc. So, such engines or an all new unit developed specifically for the new Honda small car are likely to be used.
A diesel engine option might not be in the scheme of things for the new Honda hatchback as cars costing less than Rs. 4 lakh in India don’t come with diesel engines due to cost considerations. Maruti Suzuki’s decision to equip its small cars like the 2014 Alto and the WagonR with an 800cc turbo diesel engine could force Honda to change its mind.
Where will Honda build the new small car, a product that could bring in monthly sales of 10,000 units?
Honda’s current factory at Manesar is running at its full yearly capacity of 120,000+ cars. From 2014, Honda will be capable of producing 120,000 cars/year from its new factory at Tapukara, Rajasthan. This factory will also house a diesel engine plant as Honda has plans of dieselizing its new range of cars like the Jazz, City, Mobilio and Urban SUV.
In the next 5 years, Honda is likely to grow out of both the Manesar and Tapukara factories just when the budget small car is launched. Rumours indicate that Honda is looking at setting up a 3rd factory in India. Gujarat could be the possible location of Honda’s new factory.