Upcoming Small Car to be the first Honda model to be designed and developed in India
Eyeing a higher market share in the Indian car market, Honda Cars India could soon get busy with the development of a low cost hatchback for the highly competitive small car segment. The upcoming hatchback will be the first-ever Honda model to be developed entirely at the manufacturer’s local R&D centre. It is being expected that the upcoming Honda Small Car for India will be positioned against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Celerio and will be hence significantly cheaper than the Brio, which is currently the most inexpensive model in the manufacturer’s product portfolio. Hironao Ito, senior vice president at Honda India’s R&D arm, has said, “The car would be the first to be developed at Honda’s local research centre and will be positioned above small, cheap entry-level models, such as Maruti Suzuki’s Alto and Wagon R.” While not much is known about the upcoming model and there’s still sometime before we can come up with a detailed review of this car, you can read on to find more about the upcoming Honda small car for India.
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Honda’s small car project is in very nascent stages and it would be too early to speculate a launch date. However, we do hope to be greeted by at least a prototype of the Honda small car for India at the 2018 Auto Expo.
As communicated by Hironao Ito, the proposed model will be positioned above the likes of Maruti Wagon R and Alto. This means that the upcoming Honda small car for India, in all probability, will rival the likes of Maruti Celerio and Chevrolet Beat, and could command a starting price of roughly INR 4 lakhs. Honda is expected to look at a very high level of localisation to keep the car’s selling price competitive. It maybe noted that Honda Cars India currently procures around 80% of parts from local suppliers.
While the design and development of the upcoming car will be taken care of by Honda Cars India, its platform and engine will come from Honda’s R&D centre in Japan. We believe that the upcoming model will be launched with only a petrol engine, which could displace anything between 1.0-1.2 litres. Safely expect this car to benefit from Honda’s expertise in making world class petrol engines.
It maybe noted that Honda’s decision to initiate a feasibility study on a small car for India is a result of new car-buying trends, wherein the consumer has been found looking beyond bare-basic, no-frills cars. “The market has also shifted to slightly bigger cars,” Ito said. “Our strong point is that higher segment, and market growth is matching that.” said Ito.
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Stay tuned to Car Blog India for more news and review of the upcoming Honda small car for India.