Japanese car manufacturer Honda was the only brand in the country to achieve a double digit growth in the month of January 2019. That is because its recently launched compact sedan Amaze is a huge hit among buyers. Now Honda has announced that they won’t launch any other car cheaper than Amaze.
Honda Cars India president Gaku Nakanishi mentioned about this move and the reason behind it in an interview to ET Auto. He said,
Every manufacturer has its own vision of the concept of role and responsibility. We don’t do the same thing as other manufacturers. We always want to differentiate. We want to exceed our customer expectations, not only by products, but also by customer experience in our showrooms and in our service. Maruti is a giant, a leader of the Indian automobile market. Hyundai is like a second-volume seller. Then, worldwide, there are the German 3 — Mercedes, BMW, Audi. They are luxury brands. But in case of Honda, we are not luxury, we are not mass. We want to be one step above modern mass. We are a premium carmaker. We have already decided to discontinue the Brio. Amaze is a model which will target the first-time buyer in the Indian market. Amaze will now be our entry car in the market. With the new Amaze, 30% of the customers were first-time buyers. There will be no interventions below that.
As there is a rising tendency among buyers in India to go for a compact SUV, Honda is also considering the possibility of introducing a compact SUV in the segment to boost up the sales in country. Mr. Nakanishi said that in a market like India trends keep on changing and currently, people are in love with the sub-4 meter or compact SUV segment.
He added that Honda also has a number of offering in the segment. First one is the WR-V, which is doing great in terms of sales for Honda. Second is the BR-V and then comes the recently launched premium SUV CR-V. He also said that Honda’s sedan line up in the country is complete with cars starting from Amaze to the Accord.
That is not the case with the SUV line up. Honda has confirmed that they are not satisfied with only 3 cars in the SUV segment and they see a product missing in the line-up. What this could mean is that Honda might launch a new compact SUV in the market to fill the void which will be priced above their new entry level Amaze and possibly priced between BR-V and CR-V