Honda Mobilio launch to fuel Indian MPV segment growth
Honda Mobilio is HCIL’s next big car. As its July launch nears, Honda is revising manufacturing strategy for an anticipated boost in sales. In this regard, Honda’s Tapukara plant (Rajasthan) will work double shifts. Honda also has big hopes on its Jazz premium hatchback, pending resurrection by first quarter 2015.
Honda strongly believes that products like Mobilio and Jazz will help the company grow bigger by the end of 2014-15 fiscal. Growing sales of City sedan has put HCIL in the list of top five auto manufacturers in India. This year, Honda expects to climb higher. In 2013-14 fiscal, Honda sold 1.3 lakh vehicles, resulting in 83% growth compared to the year before. Now, Honda targets 3 lakh sales units a year, by 2017.
Honda’s upcoming products are believed to make a statement just like City did in C segment compact sedan space. The key ingredient that cultivates this hope on Honda is the diesel engine it may be offering in all of its future products. Honda Mobilio is based on Brio / Amaze platform and will help Honda price the MPV competitively against Maruti Ertiga. India is the second country to receive Mobilio after Indonesia, where the MPV took over Ertiga’s sales.
Sales of Honda Amaze took a hit recently due to growing popularity of Hyundai Xcent. In addition, high demand for new Honda City requires more volume output to plug waiting period, thereby feeding on Amaze’s production. These two factors are believed to have contributed to declining Amaze’s sales.
Speaking on the same, in a mail to Rush Lane, Honda India writes, “Since April 2013, with the introduction of Honda Amaze and all New City, we have expanded our operating universe from 10% to more than 30% currently. Honda Mobilio will be yet another important launch for HCIL’s growth in India and help in expanding our operating universe further. We are hopeful that the Mobilio will be a game changer in its segment and evolve the MPV segment in India. Both our plants are fully operational right now and we are confident that we will be able to cater to the huge demand for all our vehicles.”