The Japanese multinational automaker Honda Motor Company’s Indian subsidiary after having some rocky last few years is coming back on track. One of the biggest pieces of news from the brand released in the last few months was that it will be launching an all-new mid-size SUV to take on the rivals like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, and a ton of others. Now finally company officials have revealed the launch timeline of this forthcoming SUV. It has been revealed that this SUV will be having its official launch in Mid 2023. Additionally, the company has also announced that it will be launching a new car every year as well.
While addressing the media during a discussion, Kunal Behl, vice-president, marketing and sales, for Honda Cars India, said, “We are launching the new SUV (sport utility vehicle) in mid 2023… we plan to launch at least one new car every year…So overall things are getting much stronger. It is a strong message to customers that India is a very important market for Honda Cars India. India is a growth story… It is the third largest player in the world. It makes no sense to exit this market,”
The Marketing and Sales head further revealed Honda Cars India’s plan for expansion. He stated, to lower fixed costs and boost operational efficiencies, certain difficult choices were made, including downsizing and reorganizing activities. He mentioned that the company is investing Rs 260 crore modernizing and refurbishing dealerships around the nation.
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Additionally, Takuya Tsumura, president and CEO, Honda Cars India Ltd was also present in the discussion and he also added a few things. He stated, “Business situation was a little bit bad in the last 2-3 years but from last year we turned back to black ink and this year (2022-23) too we will be profitable. So, Honda is in a much healthier situation in India,” Tsumura during the meeting also stated that he had taken note of rumors and remarks on social media about Honda Cars India closing down business when he took over the company’s operations in April. The company has made an attempt to inform customers of its ambitions for the India market, he continued.
Honda’s Creta rivalling SUV
Recently a test mule of the company’s forthcoming SUV was spotted testing on Indian roads for the first time ever. The test vehicle was seen wearing heavy camouflage but the major design details could be easily noticed. From the pictures of the SUV spotted testing in the wild, we noted that the SUV will most likely have an imposing front-end design. The SUV will get a set of sleek LED headlamps with a strip of LED DRL on the upper side. The SUV will also get a sizeable grille but the one in the camouflaged test mule only had a small opening to reveal as little as possible. The design of this forthcoming SUV is quite similar to the Honda HR-V SUV that is sold in the international markets by the brand.
It is believed that the company will most likely offer this forthcoming SUV with the 1.5-litre petrol engine that pushes out 121hp 145 Nm of torque which will be borrowed from the highly popular mid-size sedan fifth generation of the City sedan. It could also offer it with the 1.5-litre strong-hybrid powertrain that is offered with the City e:HEV hybrid. The 1.5-litre full-hybrid powertrain, includes an Atkinson cycle petrol engine, a front-mounted electric motor and a lithium-ion battery.
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