I spent quite some time of my childhood racing Acura Integras around the fictitious cities of Bayview and RockPort (Yes, you got it…ND4SPD!! ) and was smart enough to notice that its “A” logo was actually an inverted form of Honda’s “H” logo, and thereby implied some connection. Years later, when experience crept up into my thick skull, I learnt that it was the Luxury Brand of Honda.
Honda Cars India has now dropped enough hints that they are interested in introducing the more-premium brand in our country. Hironori Kanayama, President, Honda Cars India, made this statement :
“We are not concentrating on premium cars at the moment. But once this segment starts to grow and mature, Honda will consider bringing its luxury brand Acura here.”
Honda believes that the market for such cars is nascent at the moment, but it is definitely poised to grow. A growing list of millionaires as well as a taste for luxury should be enough of a prodding for the Japanese behemoth to introduce its luxury marquee over here.
However, there lie quite a few hurdles ahead of them :
- The CBU route is currently not very feasible as the steep hike in import duties this year will make the cars too expensive.
- If Honda adopts the CKD route, the massive investment may not justify the low volumes.
In fact, two other Japanese houses had considered unleashing their sides of luxury on the Indian market but backed off as the challenges were steep. Toyota with its Lexus brand and Nissan with its Infiniti marquee should have been a good sight on our roads, but unfortunately it was not to be.
Nevertheless, we feel there are significant opportunities to be lapped up here. The market for such cars is sure to burgeon, considering India’s increasing affluence. It also gives Honda more than just a chance to shrug off their Value-For-Money package and take the fight to the German Trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Keep an eye out for Acura!!