Honda Cars India Ltd has been making all the right moves recently. The Honda Diesel Era which started with the Amaze started off with a bang and multiplied its momentum with the new City. Now, Honda is all set to enter the biggest segment of the Indian car market with the new Honda Jazz. We talk to Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India Ltd about the upcoming Jazz, the B+ segment and more.
1. The B+ segment has been quite busy lately with lots of new launches and facelifts.With Honda Jazz ready for a second inning in India, how important is Jazz as a volume product for Honda?
A.The 3rd generation Honda Jazz is a brilliant product. The product has done extensively well in the markets it has been launched. We are very confident that the product would do well in the Indian market as well. The volumes shall of course depend on the various market determinants and largely on how the market shapes up in the coming future. But we are very sure the product would find its way into the market.
2. What do you think of the B+ segment and its growth in the Indian market? What will the new Honda Jazz bring to the table to make it a better offering than the other cars in the segment?
A. The B+ segment or the premium hatchback segment is currently the largest passenger vehicle segment in the country with a volume of 521,000 units in FY 2014-15. The segment has been quite busy with products being launched which are doing well in the market. The previous fiscal witnessed a growth of 10% in the segment while the A and B segment have de-grown by 7% and 10% respectively in the same time-period.
3. Despite being a great car, Honda Jazz didn’t quite make it big the first time around in India. Pricing and the absence of a diesel engine made a big impact. How does Honda plan to turn this around?
A. Primarily, it would be unfair to look at the new Jazz in the context of the performance of the previous Jazz. We need to realize that neither it is the same market nor the same product. Having said so, the new Jazz would have a diesel engine this time. Also, the new product would be priced after evaluating several external and internal price determinants. The upcoming product will be priced keeping in mind the market forces as well as the value proposition the vehicle would offer.
4. What are the engine and transmission options to be made available for Honda Jazz?
A. The new Jazz will be available in both petrol and diesel variants.
5. What is the localization level in Honda Jazz and are there any plans to export?
A. It is our continuous effort to increase localization levels in all our models and we have been able to achieve more than 90% localization in most of our volume models. We are yet to ponder over the export aspect of the Honda Jazz.