Introduction of diesel power trains within the portfolio seem to have opened up many avenues for Honda. Looking forward would it be viable to go the same way for your flagship SUV model, the CR-V?
Ans- As of now, we have no such plans to introduce diesel a powertrain in the CR-V lineup. We are generally doing quite well with the current petrol variant and do not see the urgent requirement for a diesel variant. Therefore for the time being there is no diesel variant on the cards.
Honda City and Amaze have received an overwhelming response from buyers across the country. What are the kind of measures Honda is taking in order to reduce the demand and supply gap?
Ans- In November’13, we had started the third shift at our Greater Noida based manufacturing unit. While, the new Tapukara plant in Rajasthan is scheduled to start operations by the end of this month. Therefore as a whole, put together we expect both these units to deliver an output of 2.4 lakh units per year which should solve this purpose.
Does Honda have any plans of launching an entry level small car to compete against the likes of Alto 800, Eon and others?
Ans- There are no such concrete plans of bringing in an entry level small car, as we already have Brio in the Indian market. We believe in maintaining the premiumness of the brand, and offer a complete package with quality & reliability imbibed in them. So, for now we will stick to the Brio which has been doing good business for us.
Carmakers are now focussing more on sub-4 metre vehicles, what’s your take on this subject? Can we expect a sub-4 metre compact SUV in near future? Will Honda’s Vezel make its way to Indian market?
Ans- We have been working on a feasibility study for a compact SUV for the Indian buyers, however it is quite a vague decision to develop a sub-4 metre SUV. As for the Vezel, there is a less probability that it would be introduced in India.
Do you have any plans of exporting the new City to other nations? What is Honda’s current export strategy, could you throw some light on this topic?
Ans: We have manufacturing units in almost all continents; like Asia pacific region we have production facilities in India, Phillipines, Thailand, Indonesia and others. Our agenda is to first fulfil the domestic market demand, however we still export a few of our products including Brio and Amaze to neighbouring countries. Our export numbers are continuously increasing and in past one year we exported around 6,000 units.
By when would your Tapukara plant get operational? And which all models will be produced at this particular facility?
Ans: Our Tapukara manufacturing unit will be operational by the end of this month. It will have a production capacity of 1.2-lakh units per year. For now, the Honda Amaze compact sedan will be the first product to roll out from this facility.
What’s your perception regarding hybrid cars in particular to the Indian car market? Honda has brought in a Hybrid version of the Accord to the show, should we expect to see this variant to be a part of the model line up anytime soon?
Ans- If you would remember, we were the first car maker who introduced a hybrid vehicle in the form of Civic hybrid, however, its high import duties resulted in a steeper price. We recently phased out the 8th generation Accord and are planning to introduce the new generation Accord in India. However, the exact launch time and its drivetrain are yet to be finalised.
How has the response been for the new generation Honda City?
Ans- Indian buyers have grabbed the new Honda City with both hands implying that until 5th of this month, the company recorded a figure of over 23,000 bookings already for this growing model.