With a phenomenally fuel efficient diesel engine in the kitty and some real interesting products lined up for launch, Honda is real time enthusiastic about their future prospects in the Indian auto market.
At the Auto Expo 2014, we caught up with Honda’s Vice President Jnaneshwar Sen for a quick word on their upcoming plans for the market. Here is an edited excerpt from the interview:
MotorBash: What are your plans with the Vision XS-1 Concept SUV?
JS: XS-1 is a study model. It is a crossover and a demonstration of our philosophy of Man Maximum Machine Minimum. We do not have any plans as such with the XS-1. The thing about XS-1 is that the global premiere happened in Delhi for the first time.
MotorBash: Does it have any relation with the speculated Brio-based Compact SUV that is expected to be launched in India?
JS: No! XS-1 is just a study model.
MotorBash: What volumes are you expecting with the Mobilio & new Jazz, after they are launched in India this year?
JS: We have got a very good response from the visitors at the Auto Expo. We are analyzing this response. We are still sometime away from the launch of both these cars and are working on the pricing of both of these, which has not been finalized yet. The volumes will depend on the response we get here as well as the pricing we manage to tag both of them with. So, at this point of time, it is too premature to talk about volumes.
MotorBash: Do you have any plans to launch the new Civic in India?
MB: Do you have any plans to launch the Acura Range in India
MotorBash: After the launch of New Jazz and Mobilio do you expect to meet up with the demand despite the fact that your production capacity will double to 20,000 units per month from this month onwards with the launch of the new plant at Tapukara?
JS: If you see this year’s performance so far, our growth is 78 percent in the 10 months of this financial year. And we have already clocked over 1 Lakh units (101,000 to be precise). So, at this moment we are, kind of, managing by doing a 3rd shift at our Greater Noida plant.
Off coarse once the new plant comes in our capacity will double. We will add 1.2 lacs more taking the total tally to 2.4 Lakhs per year. This is what we have planned. Once we launch the new cars that is when we will come to know whether it is enough or not!
MotorBash: Where do you see Honda after three years from now? Are you aiming any podium finish?
JS: By the year 2016-17, we plan to sell 3 lakh cars in the market. Ranking is not something that is entirely in our control as it also depends on what others are doing. We are targeting volumes which is in our control.
Also Read: We Have NO Plans to Make Brio Diesel: Honda