Soaring petrol prices in India are a big concern for petrol car manufacturers, especially Honda. Sooner or later it has to offer diesel engine variants of its car and recently with the spotting of Honda Brio Diesel, the company indirectly assures us that it is working on diesel variants of its models and also the launch of the Brio diesel is quite close, probably around Diwali.
Honda is also working on a Honda Brio sedan variant also which could come out in 2013. The Brio sedan will compete with Toyota Etios and Maruti Swift Dzire. Why we are talking about Brio in specific is because the Brio is capable of performing in markets other than Indian and Thailand, too and the latest buzz says that the car could start off a new journey in Australia.
Honda Australia has plans of introducing the Honda Brio small car to the domestic market and the most interesting fact is its price, which could start from as low as Australian $13,000 (which converts to 7.4 lakh INR) provided all goes according to plan.
If launched the Brio will compete with cars such as Holden Barina Spark (Chevrolet Beat here), Nissan Micra and the yet to be launched Volkswagen Up and Skoda CitiGo.
Honda Australia director, Stephen Collins said,
“We’re looking at it; we look at everything and that’s one of them,” .“There’s still a lot of work to be done on that as to where we go, but yeah, we’re looking at it. Clearly it’s hugely price sensitive and generally you’re up against the Koreans and potentially the Chinese and others, but our view is that that market will grow. Whether we can deliver Brio competitively is what we’re working on as a business case. If it stacks up I think we could do it.”
The Jazz is priced at $14,990 and since the Brio will be positioned below, pricing would be extremely crucial and will be a challenge for the company. Along with the pricing the company will have to take care of the specifications and features as well.
The company does not wan to strip off its features and launch it as a feature-less car at the aimed price. Instead it will try to keep the car feature-rich at the $13,000 price tag which is difficult but not impossible.
Collins says once the car gets a green signal, it will not take long for it to reach the showrooms. “I think we’ve shown that when we re-sourced a few cars from Japan when the Thailand factory went down we pretty much did that in record time so I don’t think it would take years. If we make the decision – and in fact we don’t even have a timetable for a decision yet – if it was a goer then we’d want to get it here pretty quickly.”, he said.
The Brio sports a 1.2 litre, 4 cylinder MPFI petrol engine that can put out 89 BHP of max power and 110 Nm of peak torque. Transmission options include a 5 speed manual gearbox and a continuously variable transmission (automatic). The car returns an appreciably good mileage of 25 KMPL.
Source – CarAdvice.au