Honda cars India is having a dream run at the sales charts. Since the launch of the new Honda City in January 2014, the carmaker is posting numbers previously unheard of. The midsize sedan clocked 9,518 units in March 2014. Before the City was launched, the segment best, Hyundai Verna was selling between 3,000-5,000 units every month, the higher number during its best months.
Cumulatively, the Japanese carmaker has sold 18,426 units in India in March 2014. In addition to the City, Honda’s second best performer is the Amaze. 7,374 units of the Amaze were sold last month. The Brio managed only 1,456 units in March, which may not be much but is about 20 percent rise in sales from the previous month.
The year ended for Honda with a tad over 1.34 lakh sales, 83 percent increase over FY12-13. Talking about the year ahead, Jnaneswar Sen, Sr. Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India said, “With both manufacturing plants in operation, as well as two new models, the stylish mid-sized MPV, Honda Mobilio and the all-new Honda Jazz due for launch this financial year, we look forward to another year of growth.”
Honda’s Tapukara plant commenced production only in February so the carmaker was facing capacity constraints till then. Now, there is no such hurdle so the company is targeting aggressive dealer expansion in the coming year, largely in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. At present, Honda has 170 dealerships in 107 cities. This number will go up to around 230 dealerships by next year end says Honda, a 35 percent increase in network.
The Mobilio and the Jazz are up next and will sport the same engines, share the same chassis and major components with Honda’s existing line-up in India and so addition of these new products comes at a far lesser cost to company than an all-new grounds up vehicle would. The road ahead as a result looks even better for Honda.
To find out if the Ford Fiesta has a chance in the C segment, we have brought along the much-appreciated Volkswagen Vento and the segment flag bearer, the new Honda City, just to better understand where the Fiesta actually stands.