Honda unveils new Amaze, Civic; says it waiting for policy clarity before entering EV space in India
Greater Noida, Feb 7 (PTI): Japanese auto major Honda on Wednesday unveiled three new products, including the all new Amaze, which will hit the market during the upcoming fiscal.
The company also unveiled all new CR-V and Civic sedan as part of its plan to launch six new products in the Indian market over the next three years.
”We are committed to the Indian market and aim to launch six models in the coming three years. Today we announce three models which will be launched in 2018-19,” Takahiro Hachigo, Honda Motor Company President and Representative Director told reporters here.
The CR-V will come with diesel engine, while the 10th generation Civic will have both petrol and diesel powertrains.
”The new launches will strengthen our presence in the premium segment in the Indian market,” Hachigo said.
He said that the Japanese company sold around 53 lakh automobile products globally last year with strong contribution from India.
Commenting on Indian operations, Yoichiro Ueno, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) President and CEO said the company's sales grew by 15 per cent last year.
”With the upcoming new launches, we are confident to grow further in the new fiscal,” he said.
While Amaze will strengthen Honda's presence in mass segment, all new CR-V and comeback of Civic will help the company fortify its presence in the premium segment, he added.
The company also showcased electric concepts as part of its green mobility plans.
Honda said that it will wait for clarity in policy for electric vehicles in India before firming up its plans for the segment.
”In order to stitch up a strategy (for EV segment), we are requesting to have a roadmap regarding plans of charging stations... Without a clear policy, it will be difficult to select models,” Yoichiro Ueno, Honda Cars India (HCIL) President and CEO told reporters here.
Only after there is clarity, the company would be able to assess whether such vehicles could be manufactured in the country, he said.
Terming establishment of charging infrastructure as the biggest challenge in the EV space in India, Ueno said that in a big country like India combination of various kind of electrified vehicles, including photo electric and plug in hybrids, would be beneficial.
He said the company is also requesting the government to reduce the tax difference between small and big cars.
Tax benefit favours small cars. We are requesting the government to moderate tax structure. Then we can bring more models to meet the requirements of various customers, Ueno said.
With rising incomes, demand for premium cars would be much higher in the country going ahead, he added.
When asked about sales growth outlook for the next fiscal, Ueno said the company expects to grow better than the industry.
”The industry is expected to grow by 6-7 per cent. We aim to grow higher than that. It could be close to double digits,” he said.
On new launches, besides the three announced for the current fiscal, Ueno said the company is assessing introduction of HR-V model in India.
On plans to launch models in the compact segment, he said that the company currently has 4 models in the segment which are doing pretty well.
”We expect that over 4 metre segment to grow in the country. That is why we are reinforcing the lineup in this segment as well,” Ueno said.