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Honda Cars India had little success in the small car segment with the Brio not performing to the level the carmaker had expected. Now, the company wants to shift strategy and move into the SUV and sedan segments. With the vision of increasing its market share from the current 5.55 percent to 10 percent, the carmaker is studying the feasibility of a new Honda Amaze platform based sub-4 metre compact SUV, which will rival the likes of the Maruti Brezza, Tata Nexon and the Ford EcoSport.
Speaking to ET, Yoichiro Ueno, MD of Honda Cars India, says, "We prefer the SUV space to small cars. The SUV is a growing segment in India; it offers more potential than a small car in the current context. We are studying multiple SUV options on the new Amaze platform." Honda has developed the second-generation Amaze on an all-new platform, codenamed 2UA, which will be used to study the feasibility of the compact SUV.
While the new Honda City's sales have been average, the new Honda WR-V has performed well beyond the company's expectations. The new WR-V is currently Honda's second best-selling vehicle which could have prompted the carmaker to pursue the SUV segment in India.
If Honda decides to introduce a sub-4 metre compact SUV based on the new Amaze platform, the SUV will share most of the equipment and features of the compact sedan. Engines and gearboxes for the new Honda compact SUV are likely to be shared from the new Amaze which is available with 1.2-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre diesel engine.
Presently, the utility vehicle (UV) segment accounts nearly 25 percent of the market share, and the compact SUV space has been growing at over 25 to 30 percent in the last few years. Apart from the sub-4 metre compact SUV, Honda is also expected to bring the HR-V premium SUV to India to cater to the premium segment, which is currently led by the Hyundai Creta.
Honda also confirmed that the new-generation Brio hatchback is in the backburner for the Indian market, while the Honda Mobilio MPV was discontinued. This could have prompted Honda to look at a dedicated SUV option for India. The carmaker feels the Honda City, WR-V, Jazz and the new Amaze will bring volumes, while the new CR-V, Civic, and Accord will increase the brand value of Honda.
Thoughts About The New Honda Amaze Platform Based Sub-Four Metre Compact SUV
Honda has to tread carefully in the sub-4 metre compact SUV segment as the compact has not tasted a considerable success with the BR-V. That said, the Honda WR-V has performed well, and the company will have to take note of the elements which has made the crossover success in India and implement it in the upcoming Honda compact SUV.