The Honda Amaze has changed the fortunes of the Japanese company in India. The sub 4-metre sedan is the first diesel-powered Honda in the country and is seeing soaring demand, even at a time when the Indian automobile industry is reeling under a slowdown. The automaker has received an overwhelming response for the Amaze but due to constraints in production, there is a order backlog of around 20,000 units. The company can only produce around 5000 units of the Honda Amaze every month and sold 4965 units last month, putting the vehicle in the top 10 sellers.
The Honda Amaze commands a waiting period of four months for select models. Ford recently launched the EcoSport in India, which is commanding a waiting period of almost nine months for most of the variants. The EcoSport is targeted to eat into sales of sedans and hatchbacks, Honda Amaze being one of them. To prevent loss of sales due to high waiting time, Honda has decided to start a third shift at its Greater Noida facility by November 2013.
The new shift will lead to an increase in production for the company, which can start making around 7000 units of the Amaze every month, helping them to reduce waiting period to just two months time. The production of other models will not be altered. To meet the requirements of higher production capacity, Honda will start manufacturing cars at its Rajasthan plant from the middle of next year.
The Honda Amaze seems to have affected sales of the Maruti Suzuki DZire, which saw a decline in sales by almost 5000 units last month. The popular DZire has also dropped from second position to third position as customers are now opting for the Honda Amaze, which offers more interior room, bigger boot, more power (diesel) and Honda’s more upmarket brand image. The Japanese automaker has a slew of products lined up for next year, including the next generation versions of the popular City and Jazz. An MPV based on the Brio and a compact SUV based on the Jazz are also in the pipeline.