On the sidelines of the Mobilio MPV launch, Honda Cars India was asked if the automaker was planning a small car that would be tucked under the Brio hatchback; however, the Japanese automaker does not seem to have any immediate plans of that sort and has not yet concluded if it would be advisable to enter or not in the mass market entry-level small car space. Nonetheless, the company did state that it is planning on a compact SUV that would be launched in the coming years.
The Brio hatchback happens to be Honda’s smallest car in its global portfolio (not including the Kei cars). The company has been studying the small car market with its R&D teams in India and Japan, but remained undecided on the viability of the market for Honda. The Brio is Honda’s smallest offering in the country and unfortunately has been a dud seller in the market, despite being a good product. With products like the Amaze, City and Mobilio having kept the cash registers ringing for Honda; the Brio received very less attention from the automaker and sold a paltry 74 units last month.
Honda also stated that its focus will continue to be on the volume models like the City and Amaze that have garnered a huge response from the market. The Mobilio too has made quite a name post launch and gathered over 10,000 bookings within days of launch. The MPV which is also sold in Indonesia captured 23 percent of market share since its launch in January in the country. Moreover, Honda India registered a 40 percent growth in sales in the period of April-July this fiscal, compared to the same period last year.
Honda further clarified of its plans for India which include the next generation Jazz hatchback that will be launched by the end of the financial year (March 2015). The automaker also stated that it has no plans to launch a diesel version of the CR-V crossover as of now and will launch the next generation Accord sedan in the country in the next 2015-16 fiscal in the country. The new Jazz will be Honda’s major proposition in the popular premium hatchback segment and will be more competitively priced this time round, with the option of a diesel heart under the hood.