Honda Motors has almost finalized its plans of bringing its diesel motors to India. One of the major highlights of this plan is that India will become a global hub for Honda compact diesel engines. Back at Honda’s R&D centre in Tochigi, the Jap manufacturer is working hard on the development of 1.4 and 1.5 litres engines. “Honda R&D is currently developing a small diesel engine. However, we do not have anything specific to share right now,” Jnaneswar Sen, senior VP, sales & marketing, told ET recently. Sources close to the Jap manufacturer’s plan are saying that initially, only 100,000 diesel cars, including exports, will be manufactured before a larger capacity facility might be set up.
Our regular readers might remember that Honda had recently unveiled a 1.6 litre diesel engine at the Tokyo Motor Show. We reported that this motor will find a home under the hood of the Civic in the European markets. Honda also boasts if a bigger, 2.2 litre oil burner that can be found powering the Accord and CR-V in Europe. “While it is technically possible to downgrade both these engines, the low volumes of the Accord and CR-V (in India) do not justify it. Also the engines for the European market have been developed taking into account the low sulphur content in the diesel there, unlike in India,” says Sen.
It may be noted that a lack of diesel option is costing the manufacturer quite some sales in the country. This Jap car maker, which came to us some 15 years back, was recently overtaken by Volkswagen, a relatively new entrant. And it takes no genius to guess that the diesel motor are working wonders for the German car manufacturer.