The Japanese car maker has been by far the best in terms of growth rate. In 2012 sales grew by 53 percent, followed by 47 percent in 2013 and with the current sales pattern, the sales could grow by 66 percent (all on YoY basis). Honda is certainly on cloud 9 and the company has been doing pretty well with three bangs in a row. The first bang by none other than its 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engine, followed by bang number two, the Amaze compact sedan that was launched last year; the car is seriously a very good seller. The carmaker has been selling its compact sedan and new avatar sedan like hot cakes; and yes they are well baked products. The third bang is struck by the new City. The company personnel did admit that Honda was late in bringing the diesel engine to the Indian market but Indians have forgiven them because the engine surpassed expectations. On the darker side, the company bid adieu to the sporty heart Civic and majestic Accord. We do miss the Civic very badly; wish it could make a comeback but the company has ruled it out.
Brio – The car whose looks can make you smile has certainly been the choice of the young and women. The only hatch from the Honda garage, the Brio was launched in 2011 and the car has been doing at par. The car topped a little more than 6000 units a month a couple of years ago and since then the downtrend is seen in the plot. This year approximately 7000 Brios have been sold which is more or less equivalent to the opening sales (for the month of Jan) of the new City. The figures have been loitering around 1200 units per month on an average.
Amaze – This Amazing car has been carrying a tag of ‘super hit’ around its neck. Launched in the first quarter of last year, the Amaze was the best seller for the Japanese till the end of 2013. The Brio platform compact sedan sure did wonders for Honda as the car had the perfect recipe of looks, power, quality and price; not to forget the i-DTEC engine played a very crucial role. The sales figure almost went up to the 10,000 units mark during last year festive season; the car has been selling 6000 units per month on an average. Over 1 lakh units of the Amaze have hit the streets and the compact sedan has the potential to barge into the DZire’s market but there is a twist in the tale. The name of that twist is Tata Zest. Can Zest intrude into Amaze’s corridor? Well we have to wait and see.
Jazz – The premium hatch has paved its way out of the market to let its newer generation into the field. The Jazz has been not so great on the cards with numbers always being in hundreds except a couple of occasions; coincidentally the sales of Jazz ended the same month as Amaze was launched. A triple digit sales figure is not profitable in this segment and there were possible reasons. Sometimes it’s not that the cars fail in the market because of some flaws in design, marketing, pricing, etc. Frankly speaking, the Jazz was ahead of all the cars in the market when it was launched; and probably it did pay the price for running ahead of time at a high price. Honda has been picking up right blocks for a year and is aggressively working on the next generation Jazz that is expected to hit the streets in March 2015. Don’t worry Honda, the Indian market has grown like a beast and we are now ready for everything.
City – Just like other cars in the market, the sales kept on declining from 6000 units a month (2011) to 2000 units (2013); then Honda pounded the fourth generation City in January 2014. The latest generation of this sedan has certainly changed the fate of Honda, thanks to coupling it with the highly frugal i-DTEC engine. According to ARAI, this is the most fuel efficient car in the country and that is the reason this car has been in demand prior to its launch. The City has got everything the customer needs, from space to fuel economy and from features to performance. It is just ‘the car’. The opening month of sales recorded a whopping 7184 units which constituted mostly diesel ones. The second month into the market and it overtook Amaze to be the best seller for the company and is still occupying the throne in the Honda empire. The peak recorded by the City was more than 9500 units a month. The graph is looking pretty strong and it is all set to climb the cliff ahead.
CR-V – The SUV has been dealing in double digits most of the time and the graph has been stable for the past three and half years. Neither did sales pick up much nor did it drop. We are still confused whether to praise Honda for this or not. Anyhow when the company doesn’t bother about volumes, why should we? Moreover, the CR-V is here as more of brand builder for the Japanese automaker. This year 461 units of the CRV have been sold and sales will continue to be weak till Honda launch a diesel version which they don’t plan to.