Honda Cars India will launch six new products in the next three years as part of its strategy to regain a dominant position in the passenger vehicle segment, a senior company official said today. The company, which today launched the new version of its Amaze compact sedan, whose price ranges from Rs 5.6 lakh to Rs 9 lakh, also said it is in the process of formulating a strategy for electric vehicles specifically for the domestic market.
"Starting with the new Amaze we will launch three new products in this fiscal year, and in the next three years we will bring three new models in India," said President and CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL), Gaku Nakanishi PTI in an interview here.
In the second half of this fiscal year, the company will handle the new CR-V and the Civic sedan, he added.
When asked about the other three models, Nakanishi did not disclose details, but said they could fill new segments, including the popular vertical compact SUV.
"We are studying all the possibilities and we would like to satisfy any customer demand," he added.
Bullish in the Indian market, said the passenger vehicle market is growing rapidly and would cross even 5 million units annually in the future.
"We want to expand the Honda base here, we do not want to decrease this year, our sales this year should be more than last year," Nakanishi said.
In 2017-18, the company sold 1,70,026 units compared to 1,57,313 units in the previous fiscal year, up to 8 percent. The company, however, slipped out of the top three passenger car manufacturers in India.
Nakanishi said HCIL currently contributed 23 percent to total sales in the Asia Pacific region of Honda and with the release of new models, the stock is expected to rise further.
When asked about the company's plans for electric vehicles, he said: "We are currently preparing a strategy for India." He, however, did not reveal any timetable.
Nakanishi said that the main challenges for electric vehicles at this time is the lack of charging infrastructure, the anxiety of range due to battery technology and the affordability of such vehicles.
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"Of course we would love the government's incentives for such vehicles," he said when asked if the company was looking for government. support for such new technology vehicles.
Until such time as electric vehicle technology matures and becomes affordable, Nakanishi said hybrid vehicles would be the bridge in the transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.
Honda would like to bring more hybrid models to the country, he added.
Commenting on the launch of Amaze, Nakanishi said that the second generation of the compact sedan is based on a completely new platform.
"This is a great step for Honda, we hope that Amaze again will reproduce the success of our Honda City in the country," he added.
Petrol variants of the new Amaze have a price of Rs 5.59 lakh and Rs 7.99 lakh, while the diesel variants are labeled between Rs 6.69 lakh and Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The gasoline versions come with a 1.2-liter engine coupled with manual and automatic transmissions.
Diesel options work with a 1.5-liter engine and are also available in manual and automatic transmissions.
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