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Old 25th May 2011, 14:30   #16
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Nice thread.
I would add couple of things to the 'weakness'
  1. Honda cars are perceived to have low GC because they have not been designed for Indian coditions. It is very clear that they don't customize their cars to suit local conditions.
  2. Lack of clear USP (ex: Ford= Fun to drive, Hyundai=VFM, Toyota=Reliability etc)
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Old 25th May 2011, 14:33   #17
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Wasn't the i-vtec I a direct injection engine? A DI engine provides about 3% increase in FE.

I agree that they are overpriced but maybe we don't see the value for their investment in making durable, reliable and refined cars.

Honda is not a big company and they are focussed more on hybrid technologies and making the gasoline engines work better with hybrid drivetrains.
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Old 25th May 2011, 14:36   #18
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@avinash, it's a marketing ploy used by brands to ensure the brand value remains high. If Honda brought two City options to the table, the OHC and the NHC, the OHC would eat up into the NHC market share, as there would be many people who would buy the OHC for price reasons. By removing the OHC from the scene, Honda ensures you pay the same premium for a brand new City.

Same goes for selling vehicles cheap. Apart from the fiasco of the hybrid Civics, if Honda reduced prices of their cars just to sell more, they would never be able to hike them up. It's a premium you pay for the Honda brandname.

Honda, Toyota, Mercedes these are all brands which never want to come out with an 'affordable' tag. They are names associated with exclusivity or premium products. So although it would be a dream for Honda to see every Indian driving a Honda, they wouldn't want to actually sell to every Indian.
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Old 25th May 2011, 14:44   #19
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Rated 5 Star GTO. Absolutely spot on. I really hope Honda sees this thread and does take note, because this is not from an enthusiasts point of view only but from everyones. And we do want to see Honda do well, especially many owners here including me.

To sum it up, Honda needs to get 3 things right -
1) Competitive pricing
2) Add features, lots
3) Diesel engines
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Old 25th May 2011, 14:58   #20
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Rightly said GTO. The Brio is Honda's best opportunity at turning the tide around. But they shouldn't be content with having a decent car in the segment. They need to challenge themselves and make it the best in as many parameters as possible and they better launch it with a diesel straight out of the gate. No diesel; No winning. Simple. Just look at the SX-4.

And the Jazz definitely can do better. Much better. I hope Honda wakes up.
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:07   #21
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik_kapur View Post
We have an accord and a civic automatic. Both cars have absolutely trashy fuel efficiency- 6.5-7 for the Accord with a light foot and 8 for the Civic. Average taken out on a tank-tank basis.

What is so special about these Ivtec engines that we have been raving about for years? Even the Skoda, Hyundai engines offer better mileage (petrol engines) Is it possible that we often get taken in by auto pundits and there opinion about certain technologies and forget whats important in these times? I mean fuel efficiency has got to be the no.1 priority now.


Except for the City and Jazz, the big Hondas are really poor performers on the fuel efficiency chart.
You have a point here. Me too wondered if the much tom-tommed fuel efficiency of Honda engines is a little too far-fetched. Some Honda City owners whom I know echoed same views as experessed by you. These are 2nd/3r gen City's and most of them said they never got beyond 7-9kpl in city ( they have all shifted loyalty to diesels now ). I am sure other petrol sedans like Fiesta, Verna, SX4, Linea also return similar FE figures. Then what is so special about Honda engines? Are they scorchers? I don't think so. Now if they are not fuel efficient and if they are not scorchers, then what are they? I think auto magazines built lot of hype around these Honda engines.
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:10   #22
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Originally Posted by iSpoke View Post
Also nowadays we have at least one news covering Diesel Deregulation, if that happens and diesel prices will go up, again Honda has a chance there by not worrying about investments made in plonking diesel engines unlike its competitors.
If Honda is indeed thinking on those terms it will be a flawed thought process. If at all something has to happen I do not foresee a deregulation of diesel prices happening very soon. That will have huge political ramifications for the Governments as prices will simply shoot through the sky. Diesel has too many attached dependencies, right from commercial transport to farmer's pumpsets and many such others. I think if at all Government does anything it will be more in terms of a 1-time central surcharge/levy on diesel vehicles during the sale process. However, even then I do not see the hoopla for diesels dying down by much. Human psychology is such that people will not mind shelling out a 1-time 80k to 100k surcharge and then feel at the top of the world everytime they fill up their tanks. Of course there is also a small matter of much higher FE with the diesel vehicles that needs to be considered.

I believe Honda's problems have more to do with what srishiva pointed out earlier. They do not want to plonk big $$$ on developing an engine that remains only India specific. They would want a lean, clean one that can be pushed across the most demanding of places (in terms of Green Factor) around the globe. And that will mean a lot of money and time in development costs. Honda must be pondering on whether the current global demands for a diesel justifies them going that route.

I am sure Honda mandarins are not such fools as to be just sitting on their haunches waiting for the proverbial cat to pounce on them. They can not be if you consider their lineage and how they grew to be the name that they are today in the automotive world. Something else is making their decision making a difficult thing to achieve. I believe it has to do with their estimated cost for developing a small diesel powerplant and its subsequent demand around the world. If you think of it, most of the western world will probably find it difficult to define a usage for a "puny" 1.4 or even a 1.6 ltrs diesel engine. And thats where lies the rub. Honda is most probably not sure on whether developing a small diesel and its subsequent global demand will do justice to the amount they will have to plonk on it.

Last edited by Zappo : 25th May 2011 at 15:26.
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:48   #23
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
You have a point here. Me too wondered if the much tom-tommed fuel efficiency of Honda engines is a little too far-fetched. Some Honda City owners whom I know echoed same views as experessed by you. These are 2nd/3r gen City's and most of them said they never got beyond 7-9kpl in city ( they have all shifted loyalty to diesels now ). I am sure other petrol sedans like Fiesta, Verna, SX4, Linea also return similar FE figures. Then what is so special about Honda engines? Are they scorchers? I don't think so. Now if they are not fuel efficient and if they are not scorchers, then what are they? I think auto magazines built lot of hype around these Honda engines.
I don't know about others but i have the ANHC and my dad has the OHC VTEC. I get about 13-14kmpl in City and 18-19 on highway. My friends colleague also get similar mileage. My dad's OHC VTEC (170K+ kms) still gives 10+ kmpl and that engine still revvs like beauty.
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:50   #24
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Wonderful Writeup !

Honda has been running into the problem of shrinking sales throughout the world. In USA as well, Hyundai has been eating up the share of Honda.
Even after getting bad reputation in 2010 due to recalls, Toyota Camry still manages to sell more units per month than Honda Accord.

I also think Honda needs to rethink of its marketing positioning in Indian market. Honda is not a permium brand anywhere in the world but is considered a premium brand in India which went okay until the real premium brands came heads on to Honda in Indian market (pricing of Accord and Merc C series are very close).
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Old 25th May 2011, 15:54   #25
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

^ +1 to Zappo's mail above. Forget the diesel getting priced at par with petrol. A 5 rupee hike at max if there will be any. Most probably it will be the diesel cars which will be taxed more at time of sale. And that too is not going to happen anytime soon. Thanks to car lobby.

So Honda cannot rest easy thinking that demand for diesel car is going to die. I frankly do not see Honda grabbing back the market share it has lost.
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:17   #26
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I believe it has to do with their estimated cost for developing a small diesel powerplant and its subsequent demand around the world. If you think of it, most of the western world will probably find it difficult to define a usage for a "puny" 1.4 or even a 1.6 ltrs diesel engine. And thats where lies the rub. Honda is most probably not sure on whether developing a small diesel and its subsequent global demand will do justice to the amount they will have to plonk on it.
If this is true, then Honda has voluntarily decided to give the growing Indian market (along with other emerging geographies) a miss and concentrate on low growth markets like JDM and US.

I am posting a perception graph of the downfall of the Detriot Bigthree and emergence. Rise and fall of Japs seem to follow that cycle with a phase lag. Koreans are staring their rise. I dont have enough perceptions of European car manufacturers to add them here. This perception is based on my own observations of sales, JD ratings, ownership wows and issues. The graph is flawed, so please do not scale. All I am saying that established businesses find it difficult to adapt and go through a downcycle sometimes. Then something changes, internal or external and good solid companies bounce back.

Honda India : The Way Forward-us-jap-korean-car-chart.jpg

Willing to accept criticism on this.

All the points already described and discussed by fellow BHPians on this topic are valid. The path forward is also known. Is someone listening over there.

Last edited by dot : 25th May 2011 at 16:20.
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:34   #27
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I read an aching heart. GTO our heart goes for Honda too. Your write up sums the game for Honda, but did Honda ever hear it's customers? NOPE. It is a Japanese thing. A European sports car is designed around a driver, however for a Japanese version the driver has to change according to the car. This had its advantages as well as setbacks.

An infant has to be spoon fed however a teenager wont budge. India has evolved as a market and has more options, Honda took off to a flyer as HM messed Mitsubishi and GM Opel was not offering "Value" and "Latest technology", Daewoo went packing, Ford thought of India as a clearance house and rest did not do their homework. Honda flourished but became annoyingly adamant, Honda's personnel department has never faired well on its customer satisfaction index. Buying is typical Yes/No scenario for the representative rather than a smooth sales process. People bought the car with head not heart(IMHO). Our's is the best product standalone policy, no longer matches the stats.

Now scene is drastically opposite, compare a category and you get least 3 strong brands competing with Honda. People who bought Honda not due to budgetary constraint have moved to Teutons and others as accessibility has moved positively. Honda never seems to be confident to think out of the box, if people in India can buy CBU of all types and sizes, why would Honda not launch Acura, it has the strength to cater to the servicing. It would have been the "Best Buy" for service costs would have been really low as compared to its competition.

Similarly the diesel story, if other can make do with India diesel quality so can Honda. Engines for least Civic and Accord is available, so what's the inertia all about? It beats all Honda lovers. As mentioned in earlier posts, there is no track car from Honda since ages, heck there has been no icon in current age from them. This has indeed started hurting them bad and will do so.

Honda now all BMW's sold are //M. Come on take the hint

I guess all we can do as of now is make a case study out of Honda in India.

Last edited by Sn1p3r : 25th May 2011 at 16:44. Reason: Woah! by the time I composed lots has been written.
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:43   #28
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Brilliant analysis- rating the thread 5*.

In my opinion, Honda has already missed the bus. They tried too hard and too long to hold on to their "premium", "Exclusive" image which looks a little silly now in the light of launches and successes of the global biggies in the luxe segment. The Honda City was pretty much the only trick this pony could pull, till recently. Even then, I admired the way Honda launched subsequent generations of the City vastly diferent from each other- ith the ANHC it seemed as if they had cracked the code!

Unfortunate for them that the company remains so far removed from reality- what are the directors smoking? The Brio is at least 2 years too late to launch: if and when it does make an entry, it will be in a crowded and fairly mature market, not exactlt fertile ground to build a base from scratch. The City and Jazz still stand a chance if Honda can get it into their heads that they need to price them competitively. The current generation Civic has its share of fans, but it's ironical that so many of these bought the car used rather than new. The Accord of is a nice car but, with the D segment hotting up, I don't see much hope for it unless Honda plunks in some serious trim in there.

Things like tsunamis and falling yen are just excuses: Honda has been in India long enough to have devised a localisation strategy by now. I was especially staggered by the news (to me) that the company has only one diesel engine worldwide. Seriously.

I think the death knell has been rung: Honda better wisen up and make some drastic changes soon!
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:55   #29
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Noop, pretty good analysis there. I though would not go all the way stating Honda has lost the plot (not that you do). Agreed that the Brio is a bit too late to join the party and now, Honda would need a very detailed study while launching it. It would not be wrong to say that Brio is the make it or break it stage for Honda.

A very keen observation made was most of the Civics (i know) are bought pre-worshipped. That in itself states that though the car is lovely, the price tag plays spoil sport.

Cant comment much on the Accord though. I find it pretty plane Jane types. Lovely engines and great comfort, but then the features dont hold candle to the likes of Superbs and Passats.

P.S: Brilliant analysis there GTO, rating it 5*'s.
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Old 25th May 2011, 17:02   #30
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Agree to GTO’s view that Honda should bring in gas based variants to the market which gives customers a choice to choose a Honda Product. The way the petrol prices are going soon, LPG/CNG gas option makes really good economic sense. I hope very soon we can see all major petrol variants model flaunting the ECO tag.
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