Honda India has had a troubled year, left on the pavement, watching the other carmakers zoom by with their diesel offerings in the market. But it’s now ready to get back in the race, with not just a diesel model, but seven new models in the next two years – some upgrades, and some entirely new launches.
Here’s a look at what Honda has in store for the Indian market in the next two years.
Honda Brio sedan
Expected: April 2013
The first of the Honda line up for next year, would be an April 2013 launch of the Honda Brio sedan. This car is interesting, because at 3994 mm in length, it comes under 4-metres in length, qualifying for small car excise duty sops. Despite that it has a 420 litre boot and cabin space that is slightly bigger than the Brio hatch (with a 62 mm longer wheelbase). It will use Honda’s “man maximum, machine minimum” design philosophy, freeing up more cabin space for occupants. When this car is launched, expect it to come with a 1.2 litre petrol engine (the same as the Brio hatchback), and also an all-new 1.5 litre diesel engine that will mark Honda’s entry into the diesel engine market in India. Expected price of the Brio sedan is between Rs. 5.5 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh. Also read: Honda Brio Sedan photo out: First official image!
Honda Brio diesel hatchback
Expected: mid 2013
The Honda Brio hatchback has been faring fairly well despite the lack of a diesel engine in an increasingly competitive segment, where almost all its competitors have diesel variants to offer. The Brio hatchback recently got three more variants, two automatic and a manual added to the line up. All it needs now is a diesel engine to complete the line up, which it will get next year after the launch of the Honda Brio sedan diesel variant. Expect the diesel Brio to be priced at least Rs. 1 lakh more than the petrol – with a price of about Rs. 6.3 lakh for the top-end V variant.
New Honda CR-V
Expected: January 2013
Honda has been spotted testing the next-generation Honda CR-V in India. This vehicle will be slightly larger than the current CR-V and will continue to be an import just like the current CR-V. Although the Honda CR-V does have a diesel variant in Europe, in India it will only come as a petrol variant. Launching a diesel variant in India wouldn’t make sense as it would be priced at over Rs. 30 lakh, so Honda isn’t likely to do that anytime soon.
New Honda City
Expected: End 2013
Honda is also planning to bring in an all new Honda City that will replace the current Honda City. It will likely come in end of 2013 or early 2014. The new Honda City may also get a diesel variant, using a slightly more powerful version of the 1.5-litre diesel engine that is being developed for the Honda Brio sedan. This will allow Honda to aggressively take back lost market share in the Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 11 lakh price segment.
New Honda Jazz
Expected: Early 2014
The new Honda Jazz will see increased localization and allow Honda to price it better. The current Jazz is one of the best cars in its segment, but has not been able to set the sales charts on fire because it was initially too expensive, and also because there is limited supply of kits for the Jazz from Honda’s plant in Thailand. It’s unclear if Honda will plonk in the new 1.5 litre diesel being developed for the Brio in the Jazz too, but it definitely makes sense to do so.
Honda Brio-based MPV
Expected: End 2014
Honda is also developing a seven-seater MPV based on the Honda Brio platform, which will compete with Maruti’s Ertiga. The Brio-based MPV will be based on the Concept-S that was showcased at Beijing. The upcoming compact MPV from Honda is expected to be made available in both petrol and diesel engine variants. The petrol motor of the Honda MPV is expected to be the updated version of Honda City’s 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine. It will be priced between Rs. 6 lakh and Rs. 9 lakh or so. Also read: Honda plans to launch compact MPV based on Brio
Honda compact SUV
Expected: Not before 2015
Honda is also apparently planning a compact SUV that will be based on the new Honda City platform. This vehicle will compete with the likes of the Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport. It is likely to be a seven-seater, unlike the other compact SUVs, with good ground clearance, but not really an off-road vehicle. The vehicle is still in the planning stages.
Share your thoughts on these upcoming vehicles from Honda. Will they help Honda bounce back in the Indian market?
Source: Autocar India