Honda Siel is hard at work at the moment. The company which once charged hefty premium for its emblem on the radiator grille, was caught unawares as the diesel wave swept the Indian market and the once leading ‘premium’ car maker was left reeling. Made to shake hands with reality, the Japanese carmaker had to rather unwilling slash the prices of its Jazz hatchback and City sedan by a massive margin, infusing some life in the sale of the two models, but not without losing loyalty from customers who had put their money on the two models.
Now with the Amaze all set to hit the Indian roads with a shiny new diesel engine under it hood, the top brass at Honda is burning the midnight oil to make sure that they bounce back with a boom. While the Amaze has created a lot of buzz for the car maker and is being anticipated to be a runaway success with hundreds of inquiries coming in for the new entry level sedan at Motoroids, Honda is not going to rest on its laurels. The Japanese auto giant is planning to launch a variety of models to make sure ist sufficiently represented across segments in the Indian market.
Leading the charge after the advent of the Amaze will be the next-gen Amaze, to be introduced next year. Accompanying the big hatch will be an all-new MPV, which fight it out with the likes of the Toyota Innova, Maruti Ertiga and the Xylo. The new MPV will be a ground-up product and won’t be based on any of the currently available vehicles from the Honda stable. Expect space and fuel efficiency to two of the big virtues of the car. The 1.5 liter diesel engine developed for the Amaze with its 100PS of power and more than 200NM of torque should more than suffice to do duty on such a vehicle in India.
The possibility of the launch of a UV in India was expressed by Hironori Kanayama, president and CEO of Honda Car India to a leading daily. On being asked about the possibility of Honda coming up with a compact SUV knowing the popularity of the segment in the Indian market, he said that the possibility of a Jazz based compact SUV cannot be denied.
The new SUV, based on the same platform which will support the next gen Jazz is called the Urban SUV concept as of now, and gives Honda its option to take the fight to the likes of the Ecosport and Duster. Expected to go on sale in first in Japan in 2013, then in America and will reach Europe only by 2015, the new SUV will be dynamic, sporty, but spacious and functional. In its concept form the SUV is 4300mm long, which is more than 4 meters, and may have to undergo a surgery to avail of the duty cut in India.
The engine range will be almost similar to that of the new jazz, and will include the 1.5 liter diesel engine which powers the Amaze.
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