In October we had reported that Honda Cars India might come up with a small car, which will be designed and manufactured specifically for India. Now a top official from the company has confirmed the same.
The car will be the first to be developed at Honda's local research centre and will be positioned above the small and cheaper entry-level models, Hironao Ito, senior vice president at Honda Genbetsu India, the R&D arm told Reuters.
"Some specific model for India is necessary," Ito told Reuters, though he refused to give details on the type of car the company envisaged or its likely launch date. Development of the platform and engine will be supported by the parent in Japan, while the entire design and manufacturing process will take place in India
Honda already procures 80% of its parts from suppliers based in India. The new small car will find more local parts in line with the Renault Kwid that uses 98% of localisation. This way Honda will be able to price the car competitively.
"It is very attractive to consider entry into small car segment, but it is of no use of coming out with same type of models like Maruti," Noriaki Abe, the company's Chief Operating Officer for Regional Operations (Asia and Oceania) has said in October.
This also means Honda is not planning to launch just another small car.
The car will be feature rich in an affordable package, something that has become the USP of Renault Kwid. The Kwid came with segment-leading features include Medianav system that has navigation Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free telephony, USB and aux–input ports and speed sensing volume control. The other highlight of the car is the ARAI fuel efficiency of 25.17kmpl, which makes it the most fuel efficient petrol car in the country.
When Honda rolls out its small car, a host of new features in line with the Renault Kwid can be expected.