Honda is developing a new compact SUV which would compete against other SUVs such as Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos
Honda Cars India (HCIL) has been facing a tough time in the passenger vehicle market of India for some time now. Over a period of time, the number of models under the company’s portfolio has declined. With sales dwindling gradually, the company also had to shut down its manufacturing plant at Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
The facility in Greater Noida catered to the premium segment of cars like Civic and CR-V which were discontinued in late 2020. Prior to that, Honda even discontinued its sole luxury offering in the form of Accord from the updated BS6 lineup. The Japanese carmaker now operates through its sole manufacturing base in Tapukara, Rajasthan.
Honda To Discontinued Jazz, WRV, 4th Gen City
As per a new report by ET Auto, Honda Cars India will discontinue 3 of their cars by the end of this fiscal year, that is March 2023. The three cars are 4th gen City sedan, Jazz hatchback and WRV crossover. Of the three, it is the Jazz which will be discontinued first.
Production of Honda Jazz will end in October 2022. After that, Honda will end production of the 4th gen City sedan in Dec 2022 and finally, that of the WRV crossover in March 2023. This means, after March 2023, Honda Cars India will only have the 5th Gen City, City Hybrid and Amaze sedans on sale in India.
Realigning its strategy for the Indian market, Honda recently confirmed that it will return to the SUV segment in the country in the near future. The company is developing a new SUV specifically for the Indian market.
New Honda SUVs For India – Creta Rival
This upcoming SUV will rival the likes of compact C-segment SUVs such as Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun as well as soon to be launched Maruti Grand Vitara and Toyota HyRyder. Honda currently depends on its sedans- Amaze and City that bring the major chunk of the company’s sales volume at 50 percent and 30 percent respectively. WR-V at 12 percent and Jazz at 8 percent make up the rest.
The absence of an SUV from Honda’s lineup has been hurting the company big time since SUVs comprising 32 percent of the overall car sales in India. This figure is expected to grow to 40 percent of overall car sales in the coming days, as per company estimates. While Honda does offer WR-V in the sub-4 metre SUV segment, it is seen more as a crossover than an SUV.
Honda also doesn’t offer a small entry-level hatch in its portfolio anymore with Jazz catering to the premium hatchback segment. More details on the size, platform, engine displacement, and pricing will be shared nearer to the time of its launch. Some reports suggest that this upcoming SUV would enter production by August 2023 so that it could be launched during the festive season of 2023. These are currently in development and are codenamed 3US/31XA for the 5 seater and 7 seater version.
Internally referred to as the S-SUV with a codename 31XA, the upcoming model could be offered in both two-row and three-row seating layouts. This will help it cater to a wider section of consumers. Further, Honda has also registered the “Elevate” trademark in India, hinting at the SUV’s nameplate upon launch.