Passenger car maker Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), a joint venture between Honda Motor Co Limited of Japan and Siel Limited, is planning to export its compact car Brio from its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan to the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan from next year.
The company already exports some components of Brio - the lowest-priced car rolled out from its stable to compete with models like Maruti’s Swift and WagonR, and Hyundai’s i10 and i20 - to Indonesia and Malaysia.
Launching Brio in Hyderabad on Tuesday, HSCI director (marketing), Seki Inaba, said, “We are looking to achieve localisation of Brio from the present level of 80 per cent to 90 per cent by the end of this fiscal. This would bring down the cost of production. However, it doesn’t mean we will reduce the price.”
The 1,200 cc Brio, which meets the Bharat Stage-IV emission standards, comes in four variants and six colours, with a price tag of between Rs 4.04 lakh (ex-showroom, Hyderabad) and Rs 5.19 lakh.
While declining to disclose the sales targets of Brio, Inaba said the company was expecting the compact car’s volumes to be in line with its ‘City’ sedan.
In August 2011, HSCI sold 5,000 units of City. Across models, the company had sold 60,000 units during the last financial year.
“The Rajasthan plant has an installed capacity of 100,000 units. We should be able to fully utilise the capacity by the end of Q1 of 2012,” he said, adding the company was expanding its dealer network to 143 in 91 cities by the end of this year, from the existing 135 in 83 cities.
On whether the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which forced HSCI to reduce production in India due to non-availability of parts from Japan, still had any impact on the company, Inaba said, “It had some impact. Things, however, are expected to ease towards the end of the year.”