2021 Honda HR-V eHEV Front

Honda is working on project ACE, set to launch by 2026

Honda Cars India is gearing up for a significant shift in its strategy, aiming to transform the country into a hub for electric vehicles. The new project, codenamed ACE (Asian Compact Electric), is set to launch by 2026, with an emphasis on exporting 50-70 percent of the produced vehicles to key overseas markets, including Japan.

The ACE project, focusing on compact electric SUVs, is a pivotal step for Honda Cars India. A specific model with the codename DG9D, anticipated to have an annual production volume of one lakh units, is under discussion. This is part of Honda’s larger plan, encompassing around four new models for the Indian market. The company aims to retool its plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan, for EV production starting in 2024, with a keen focus on increasing production capacity to meet both domestic and international demand.

Honda’s vision for India extends beyond catering to domestic demand. The company plans to leverage the country’s manufacturing capabilities to serve as an export hub for the ACE project and other electric models. The elevation of India to a crucial role in Honda’s global operations is underscored by the anticipation of doubling exports from India by 2025. The ACE project, coupled with the recently launched Elevate, is expected to contribute significantly to this export volume surge.

While Honda remains tight-lipped about the specific investment amount, it has confirmed earmarking additional funds for the new EV and future electric models. The increase in production capacity is not limited to meeting domestic sales but is also geared towards fulfilling international demand for the Elevate and upcoming EV. Honda Cars India President and CEO Takuya Tsumura has hinted at the possibility of additional investments and a potential capacity increase.

The forthcoming electric SUV under the ACE project is positioned as a global model, set to be exported to various markets worldwide. This mirrors Honda’s global strategy, wherein India plays a pivotal role in the company’s export volumes.