In a global premier, Honda Cars today took the wraps off the much-waited fourth-generation City, which will be launched in India in January 2014.

The pre-booking for the model, which will be available both in petrol and diesel variants, have also begun. Presently, Honda City comes with petrol engine only.

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) President and CEO Hironori Kanayama said India has been the focus market for Honda City.

“Honda is identified with ‘City’ in the country, thus it was befitting to have the global unveiling of the all new Honda City in India. The fourth generation Honda City, which would be available in both petrol and diesel versions, will take the legacy of the car forward,” he told reporters here.

The company had launched the first generation Honda City in India in 1998 and has so far sold 4.3 lakh units of the car.

Mr. Kanayama said with the addition of diesel variant of the City, the company would have a better play in the Indian market where sales of diesel cars has grown significantly.

"We were at a disadvantage in the diesel segment, but now with both Amaze and City coming in diesel versions, we will have a better play in the market," he said.

The company had entered the diesel segment in India with the launch of Amaze in April this year and has so far sold over 50,000 units of the compact sedan.

Honda has increased the output of the compact sedan with a third shift at its Greater Noida facility from November to bring down the waiting period for the car.

"We were manufacturing 440 cars a day in two shifts, due to the third shift the production has now gone up by 40 per cent. It has helped to reduce the waiting period to around a month," Mr. Kanayama said.

The petrol variant of the new Honda City comes with the existing 1.5 litre iVTEC engine, while the diesel variant will have the recently launched 1.5 iDTEC diesel motor.

Honda Cars India sold 73,000 units in last fiscal and aims to market 1.20 lakh cars this financial year on the back of new launches.

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