According to reports, Honda Cars India Ltd have started work on a new entry-level small car and a sub-4 metre compact SUV that are slated for a commercial debut in 2017. With the move, the Japanese carmaker hopes to foray into the mass market segment, breaking away from the convention of catering towards niche segment.
The development of the two upcoming models will be carried out in India with a focus on maximising the use of local products, which will help the carmaker to price the vehicles competitively in the Indian market. The aforementioned plans, which were until recently only being considered, have now moved onto the development stage, according to a people in the know.
Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, president and CEO of Honda Cars India said, “The process to develop small car has just begun. It is not very far away. But we can’t give you an exact time.” The small car and the compact SUV will also be launched in other developing South Asian nations as well as in Africa and Indonesia. The small car has also earned itself an internal codename, ‘World A Entry Car’ to signify its potential.
In the Indian market, the small cars including, hatchbacks, crossovers and sub-4 metre sedans have been doing extremely well and account for more than two-thirds of total passenger vehicle sales. At the top of the game is India’s biggest automaker Maruti Suzuki, followed with South Korean automaker Hyundai. It would be interesting to see Honda fight it out in the small car segment in the coming years.