Honda had recently shut down its manufacturing facility in Greater Noida, owing to the low demand of its flagship sedan and SUV offerings, the Civic and CR-V. However, on shutting down of this facility, Honda made it clear that their plan to stay in India in a strong way is still on the table. It still has over 3% market share in the country with its popular products like Amaze and City. In the sedan segment, it is a successful brand. Honda wants to replicate this in the mid-size SUV segment as well. We will talk a bit about that later.
Right now we focus our attention on the exports that Honda has started out of India. The exports of newly made in India left-hand-drive City has begun to the various parts of the world. This is Honda’s commitment towards the Make in India initiative and has invested in a world-class manufacturing facility in India.
Honda City Exports
The fifth-gen Honda City, which is currently on sale, is being exported to the left-hand-drive markets from the ports of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. These cars are shipped to the Middle-east as well as 11 other left-hand dive markets internationally. Honda states that this will boost its exports because now Honda’s plant in India is capable of manufacturing both left and right-hand drive models. This also strengthens its hold in the Indian market. The right-hand-drive versions of its other offerings like the Amaze and WR-V are already being exported to countries like Nepal, Bhutan and a number of South African nations since October 2020. Overall, Honda is expecting a multi-fold increase in its export figures and sees India as the hub of manufacturing to fulfill its export demands.
Honda is also preparing to expand its influence in India in the mid-size SUV segment. It might come up with the HR-V, which will rival the likes of insanely successful Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. To take on the best-selling SUV in the country (Creta) is no mean task. Honda will come prepared though, considering the fact that they have been in the Indian market for a long time and have a few successful products in its lineup. It is aware of the requirements and sensibilities of the Indian buyers. This should help them develop a product that will attract a lot of attention.
The features that we might see on the new HR-V are LED headlamps, typical Honda design with chrome bars on the front grille, sporty curves on the exterior and muscular built. On the inside, it is expected to have all the modern features including Digital Infotainment System with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and Bluetooth Connectivity, Voice Commands, Steering-mounted Controls, Digital Instrument Cluster and a Sunroof.
Internationally, it comes with a 1.5-litre petrol hybrid engine with electric motors. Honda has a few models in the Japanese and European markets where it combines IC engines with electric motors to make a hybrid powertrain. It remains to be seen what they have thought about the India launch of the HR-V, considering the first-gen HR-V got cancelled at the last minute.