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Honda Cars India President & CEO, Mr Takuya Tsumura has stated that the company is looking forward to launching a new SUV in 2023 to improve the sales volume of the automaker in the country.
"We did some restructuring in the last few years and it was a bit of a tough time, but I can now say it is done, the company now has a healthy constitution" stated Mr Tsumura according to a PTI report.
"The SUV market has grown robustly and now accounts for around 50 per cent of the overall passenger vehicle segment. We are not participating in that segment. We are confident that with the launch of the SUV next year, we will enhance volumes", Mr Tsumura added.
With such a decision, Honda is gearing up for a major re-entry into the SUV segment. Apart from that, it is also quite surprising to realise a major automaker without a proper SUV in the Indian automobile market. At present, Honda's current product portfolio in India consists of Honda Amaze, Honda City (4th Gen), Honda City (5th Gen), Honda Jazz, and Honda WR-V.
Though the Honda WR-V competes against sub-4m SUVs such as Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon, Nissan Magnite and many others, it is essentially a re-styled Honda Jazz under the skin.
That being said, the Honda HR-V could be a nice fit in the growing and highly competitive SUV segment in India. Moreover, Honda recently updated the Honda HR-V SUV in the US market. The new model is a lot more aggressive than the model it replaced and comes with additional features as well.
In addition to that, the Honda HR-V is a global product and the launch of such an SUV will bring a lot of interest in customers as well.
Speaking about the design, the updated Honda HR-V SUV in the US market carries a bit more aggression and sportiness. This aggression is further accentuated by the bold front grille, large air intakes, a few black elements, and sleek headlamps.
Moving to the sides, the updated Honda HR-V SUV also seems to have gained a bit of bulk and the strong shoulder line towards the rear adds a lot of sporty vibe to the overall design. On the back side, the taillights look a bit sharper than the previous model, whereas the rear bumper has been reprofiled and now sports a body-coloured rear skid plate.
Coming to the interior, the new Honda HR-V SUV sports a very modern and welcoming interior that looks and feels very premium compared to its immediate rivals.
In the US market, the Honda HR-V is powered by a 156.5bhp, 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated, petrol engine. This engine comes mated to a CVT gearbox and it is available in both FWD and AWD guise.
It is also worth mentioning that the Honda HR-V shares many components with the latest Honda Civic sedan that is already on sale in many international markets.
Thoughts About Honda's Plans To Launch SUV In Indian Market
Since Honda lacks a proper SUV in the Indian market, it seems ideal for Honda to launch the Honda HR-V in India. The launch of a global product such as the Honda HR-V will generate a lot of interest among prospective buyers as well.
At present, the lack of SUVs in Honda's product portfolio is clearly visible as the sales have dwindled down over the years.
Moreover, the Honda HR-V has always been a decent and practical 5-seater SUV for a small family and we think it is high time for Honda to introduce an SUV like HR-V in the Indian market even if the company is making less profit than other cars in its product portfolio.