Honda Brio a baby step in small car segment in India for the Japanese auto major

All eyes will be on Honda Motor’s when they launch the Honda Brio on 28th September 2011.  Honda has battled auto components shortage with the devastating tsunami in Japan earlier in the year, and has also been plagued by three vehicle recalls in less than 2 years. The company has also taken a hard hit because of their petrol cars portfolio with petrol prices spirally upwards continually.

The Honda Brio launch will be their first foray in the small car segment in India.  Honda has been recording a decline in sales in recent months.  Sales of models, such as Civic, Accord, Jazz, and CRV have fell by over 40% during the past months.  Honda Siel Cars India Limited offered a discount of Rs. 60,000 for the Honda City Rs. 1.50 lakhs on the Honda Jazz.  After a six month ordeal, the Honda City is back at top spot in the midsized sedan segment in India.

The crux of the matter is that Honda does not have a diesel engine suited for India.  They have one for European markets, but considering the fact that Indian consumers are shifting towards diesel run engines, the company would be well advised to bring out a diesel engine soon. Honda does use a 2.2-liter diesel engine in Europe but that’s not ideal for Indian cars sulphur content in diesel in the country is higher. The Honda Brio petrol hatchback will take on the new Maruti Swift, Ford Figo, Nissan Micra, Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Etios Liva, and Chevrolet Beat.

The Honda Brio hatchback has been launched in Thailand, and Honda Siel exports Brio knocked down parts to the country. Honda is still dealing with a shortfall in supplies and has not estimated the Brio’s success in Thailand yet.  Whether or not it transforms into a successful car for Honda in the Indian car market is what will be discussed in length in times to come.