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Honda Brio preview delayed

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Japanese auto major Honda today said it has postponed the preview of its small car Brio in India, originally scheduled for March 17, due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week.

"In light of the recent devastating earthquake that hit Japan, causing massive damage to life and property, Honda Siel Cars India has postponed the Honda Brio India preview event scheduled to be held on March 17, 2011," the company said in a statement.

 

The auto giant, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Siel Group, had unveiled the prototype of the car in Bangkok last year and had announced plans to introduce it in India in 2011 with a price tag of less than Rs 5 lakh.

On March 11, an earthquake measuring 8.9 on Richter's scale hit Japan followed by a devastating tsunami, which swept away houses, overturned ships, vehicles and set ablaze several buildings, including a petrochemical plant, leaving thousands of people dead or unaccounted for.

The country is now facing radiation scare with a hydrogen explosion occurring today at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant's troubled second reactor, leaving three workers injured and seven missing. This is the second reactor of the plant that has witnessed an explosion.

The radiation at the plant's premises rose over benchmark limit of 500 micro sievert per hour at two locations. Over 1.80 lakh people have been evacuated from 20 km radius of the plant, joining over 3.5 lakh who have already moved out.

"Honda Siel Cars India extends heartfelt condolences to all those who have suffered or lost their near and dear ones in this tragic disaster and stands in solidarity with the Government and people of Japan," the company said.

Last week, compatriot Toyota had postponed the official inauguration of its second Indian manufacturing facility at Bangalore in view of the earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), which is present in India through a joint venture with Kirloskar Group, has invested Rs 3,200 crore to set up a car facility that rolls out its sedan Etios, launched in December last year.

The small car version Liva with a 1.2 litre petrol engine will hit the roads in April.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor employees working in Japan with TMC are safe and the Indian firm has constituted a task force to monitor the situation.