The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 8 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Honda moves to new City

Hironori Kanayama (right), Honda Cars president and CEO, and Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, managing officer of Honda Motor Company, in New Delhi on Tuesday. Picture by Yasir Iqbal

New Delhi, Jan. 7: Honda Cars India Limited expects the bulk of the sales of its latest variant of the City to come from small towns and rural areas.

The Indian arm of the Japanese auto giant today launched the “fourth-generation model” of the City, priced competitively between Rs 7.42 lakh and Rs 10.98 lakh.

With none of its rivals planning to offer a sedan for at least sometime, Honda hopes to cash in on the interest of rural and small town buyers.

“We hope to make at least 58 per cent of our total sales for the City sedan from smaller cities and the rural market this calendar year. It is a very important market for us and most of the new and existing outlets are in these areas,” said Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president (marketing and sales) of Honda Cars.

The diesel version of the car will be available in the range of Rs 8.62 lakh to Rs 11.10 lakh.

According to the company, around 9,000 customers had already booked the car since its global launch in India in November.

While Honda will start delivering the diesel models first, the petrol variants will be available from February.

“This is because of production constraints,” Hironori Kanayama, Honda Cars India president and chief executive officer, said.

The diesel variant delivers 26 kilometres per litre (kmpl), while the 1.5-litre petrol engine offers 18 kmpl.

The rural market had bailed out car makers last year as the good monsoon led to abundant harvest that increased disposable incomes.