Japanese auto major Honda plans to launch diesel cars in India because of increase in demand for such vehicles against the backdrop of high petrol prices, a top company official said on Monday.
The company is engaged in developing diesel engines back in Japan, Honda Siel Cars India Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), Jnaneswar Sen, said.
“The Research and Development team in Japan is developing diesel engines. It is premature to say that the products will be rolled out on diesel (platform),” he told reporters in Chennai.
Declining to reveal when diesel variants would be rolled out in India, he said the proposed diesel engine was being developed for a specific market like India as most of the markets worldwide prefer petrol cars.
On the “Brio” that was formally launched on Monday, he said "Honda is targeting first time buyers and those who already own a Honda vehicle".
“So far we are present in top 20 per cent (of the market). Now (with launch of Brio) we are reaching out to many first time buyers. Besides, in our current range, we have excellent repurchase (among owners who already own a Honda)”, he said.
While the Brio costs Rs 3.95 lakh (ex-showroom) in Delhi where the VAT (Value Added Tax) is 12.5 per cent, it costs Rs 4.04 lakh (ex-showroom) in Tamil Nadu where the VAT is 14.5 per cent, he said adding there was a price difference of around Rs 9,000.
Brio is available in four variants. The entry level is priced at Rs 4.04 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai), while the top end model is Rs 5.20 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai).
Besides Brio, Honda retails hatchback Jazz, premium sedan City, luxury sedan Civic and premium SUV CR-V in India.