Honda Motor Company (HMC) plans to develop a diesel engine to power small cars. Recently, the Japanese automaker has launched Amaze, a diesel-powered sedan.
Atsushi Arisaka, chief engineer, large project development, Honda R&D-Asia Pacific, said, "We are looking at a diesel engine with engine capacity between one and 1.2 litres. Once developed, it can be used on small cars."
The plan is strategic and aims to double the sales to three million units per year by 2017 in the emerging markets of India and China. The timeline has not been specified but the final product will be ready within two to three years after the project starts. Recently, Honda has kicked off the 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine for the newer products including the Fit (Jazz), new City and utility vehicles. The smaller diesel engine would be used for smaller cars. The smaller diesel engine would give Honda an increase in volumes in the small car segment that currently has a market share of 2.9 percent in this segment. The small car segment accounts for 60 percent of the passenger vehicles sales.
Hironori Kanayama, president and chief executive officer, Honda Cars India, said, "With economic development, there is an increased consumer preference for more expensive cars, resulting in a demand boom for utility vehicles. But that is not the only case in India. There are a large number of people who want to own cars, and because of such first-time buyers, the compact car segment would continue to generate demand. While a final decision has not been taken, we are studying the market below the Brio."