Will launch four new models to garner bigger piece of market

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) is looking to make up for lost time and has plotted out a product strategy that will see it skew towards diesel variants, a move that will allow the carmaker to address a bigger piece of the market.

Having missed the market push towards diesel, HCIL recently made amends with the launch of its entry-level Amaze diesel car. With nearly 80 per cent of the 16,000 units sold coming from the diesel category, the company is making sure that its next four launches will have a diesel variant. “For quite some time, we only operated in 10 per cent of the Indian passenger car market as we had only petrol models. With more diesel models on the way, we hope to increase this to 50 per cent in the next two years,” said Hironori Kanayama, President and CEO, HCIL, while addressing reporters here on Wednesday.

The company’s upcoming models will be the next generation Jazz , a 7-seater multi-purpose vehicle, a compact SUV and a new City.

According to Mr. Kanayama, the Amaze, which has a waiting period of nearly 4-5 months right now, has seen strong demand from Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

“I would roughly say our sales are equally divided between Tier-I, Tier-II and Tier-III cities. We are trying very hard to increase the production of Amaze and match the demand, but we don’t see a reduction in waiting period right away,” he added.

HCIL sold 73,500 units in India last year, a 35 per cent growth over the previous year. Production capacity at the carmaker’s Noida plant is 1.2 lakh units, which Honda hopes to utilise fully this year.

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