After a successful comeback in the Indian market with the Amaze compact sedan and the new City saloon, Honda is taking aggressive steps to establish a strong foothold in the country. Many thought the Japanese manufacturer would also resort to developing a car in the country to meet the local needs and conditions. However dismissing rumours and possibilities, Honda Cars India stated that it will not be developing a car in India. Instead its R&D facility will focus on localisation for now.
Honda’s next big plans for India will be executed in the current fiscal itself. The company’s next major launch will be the Mobilio MPV that will be targeted at Ertiga buyers and will be a completely new segment for Honda in India. The Jazz on the other hand will see a launch by the end of this fiscal in the premium B-segment hatchback space. Honda is also improving its levels of localisation to improve costs. Compared to the old City sedan which had local content of 72 percent, the new City has been 90 percent localised. Honda will also apply the same strategy for the all new Jazz that will help the car to be competitively priced, a major drawback for the previous generation model.
Honda is focusing on increasing its vehicle footprint in India. The company’s domestic sales in 2012-13 fiscal were 73,483 units, which increased to 1,34,339 units in 2013-14 and now the company has set a target of 3,00,000 units per annum by 2016-17. Not only in terms of domestic sales, Honda is also working to improve its export target as well from 5798 units in the last fiscal, to 11,000 units in this fiscal. India is currently on the 9th position of Honda’s global markets and contributes around 3 percent to the company’s global sales. With the company working on achieving the 3 lakh sales mark, the contribution will increase to 5 percent.