Honda currently utilises 70 percent capacity of its Tapukara plant and the arrival of the midsize SUV should improve that figure
Honda is developing a brand-new midsize SUV for India as it has realised that it cannot ignore the lucrative segment anymore.
The Japanese carmaker banks on 2 sedans – the Amaze and the City – to bring in most of its volumes, even as the share of sedans continues to fall in the market.
At the same time, customers have been purchasing compact SUVs, be it the sub-4-metre ones or those in the circa 4.3-metre length category, by the bucket loads.
In the first 7 months of 2021, share of SUVs went up by as much as 34 percent and Senior Vice President and Director (Sales and Marketing), Honda Cars India, Rajesh Goel has admitted that sedans have taken the biggest hit during the said period.
Stating that the pace (at which SUVs are clawing market share) is accelerating, Goel said he cannot hide the fact that the share of sedans in each segment is decreasing.
Thus, in order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing market, Honda has decided to build a new SUV which will be an India-specific model.
Goel did not disclose any details about the SUV, but the word is that the new SUV will be competing in the midsize segment and that it will be based in the fifth-generation City’s platform.
Earlier developments suggest that the new Honda midsize SUV will be 4.3 metres long (in 5-seater format) and rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Skoda Kushaq, among others.
Although Honda has stated that this will be an all-new model, it might be related to the new-generation BR-V which was revealed in Indonesia as the N7X concept.
Internally code-named 31XA and alluded to as the S-SUV by Honda’s staff, the midsize SUV it should be offered in both 2-row and 3-row seating arrangements.
Set to come with a localisation level of 90 percent, the vehicle will borrow the City’s powertrains and is expected to be launched by the fag end of 2023.
Likely to be called the Elevate, the midsize SUV could just be the trump card that Honda needed to take the fight to market leaders.