With competitors coming into India’s small car market, Honda is learnt to be considering launching its much-publicized compact car towards the yearend, ahead of the previously scheduled 2011 deadline.
Industry experts contemplate that the A-segment car codenamed 2CV will hit the market by this year end and might even coincide with the launch of Etios, Toyota’s small car.
Jnaneswar Sen, vice-president for marketing, Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), said, “We have no such plans, and we believe that 2011 will not be too late to launch the vehicle. Car penetration is still low in the country and there is a lot of space to grow.”
The small car will be priced under Rs 4.5-5 lakh. The newly launched cars have seen decent sales since their launch. While the recently launched Figo and Polo have received around 10,000 bookings and 5,000 bookings, respectively, nearly 13,000 Chevrolet Beats have driven out of showrooms since its January launch. Nissan will roll out its compact, Micra, in June this year, with an estimated price tag of Rs 4 lakh.
As for Honda, the 2CV debuted at the Auto Expo earlier this year. The company expects to sell the small car in volumes on a par with its bread and butter model Honda City. Its small car, developed primarily for India and other emerging markets, will have 80 per cent localized content and will be first rolled out from its Greater Noida facility. It will also be manufactured in Thailand.
The Honda Jazz has been a slow-moving in India since its launch in June 2009, owing to its steep price tag of Rs 6,98,000. HSCI has aggressive marketing plans for the launch of its small car. It aims to increase dealerships to 150 by end of next year.
All the 13 cities including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Surat, Ahmedabad, Pune and Sholapur that follow BS-III are scheduled to move up to BS-IV from April.