Japanese carmaker Honda is planning to expand its dealership network in small towns and cities, as well as tie up with regional banks to ensure good sales of its upcoming small car Brio. The Brio is expected to be launched in September with a price tag of less than Rs 5 lakh.
“We are not exactly focusing on the major metros with Brio. It will cater to urban nucleus families, but will meet specific needs of larger family units in small towns,” Honda Siel Cars vice-president Jnaneshwar Sen said.
Honda, which sells the City, Civic, Accord, Jazz and CR-V in the Indian market, has mostly been able to attract the metro crowd even as other carmakers have penetrated the country roads and enhanced their sales volume. Now, Honda also wants to tap the huge potential of small cities to ensure that the Brio stands in line with Maruti Swift, Ford Figo and Hyundai i20.
Honda has also initiated talks with government owned as well as regional banks to offer attractive finance options for the Brio. Honda does not want the Brio to take the same route as the Jazz.
“As we moved to small cities and settlements, we have enrolled these financial institutions including cooperative banks, who have the ability to cater to profiles of potential customers for Brio,” Sen said.
Honda, after five years of comprehensive research, has developed the Brio for the Indian market. The small car can accommodate five adults but falls in Indian government’s small car category that is taxed 10% compared to 22% for bigger vehicles. Brio would be the first high-volume Honda car to hit the Indian market.