Honda has officially confirmed that it will produce a diesel engine in India to power a range of new products to be launched in the next financial year. Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Takanobu Ito, president and CEO, Honda Motor Company announced, “In India, an all-new diesel engine will be adopted sequentially to new models starting in FY2014 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2014). In addition to the high fuel efficiency, the cost competitiveness of the all-new diesel engine will be enhanced through local sourcing and local production to make new diesel models more affordable for customers.”
The Honda diesel engine will be a 1.5-litre unit that has been developed specifically for the Indian market, but is likely to be exported to other parts of the world. According to company sources, this grounds-up 1.5 diesel unit is likely to come in two power outputs to cater to a wide range of products.
The first vehicle to be powered by the new 1.5 diesel engine will be the Brio-based entry level saloon in mid-2013 (Autocar India first broke the news way back in its October 2010 issue), and this is likely to be followed by the Brio hatchback later in the same year.
Honda has also confirmed the introduction of the new Jazz in 2013 and its global launch within two years of its unveiling. This period will also see the launch of the next-gen City and an all-new SUV based on the same platform, which is expected by 2015.
Honda’s new SUV, which will be based on the next-generation City platform, will be the first of its kind for the company, and is primarily aimed at the exploding compact SUV market in India, where products like the Renault Duster have become a runaway success.
Honda’s new model offensive is likely to boost the company’s flagging sales in India, especially since the company will then have that one essential ingredient critical for success in the Indian market – a capable diesel engine.
Issue: 166 | June 2013
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