Honda has confirmed four new cars for the Indian market in the form of the 2014 Jazz hatchback, the new City sedan, the Jazz-based compact SUV and a 7 seat MPV (possibly based on the Brio platform). Buoyed by the Amaze compact sedan's success in India, particularly that of the diesel engined model (Nearly 80% of the Amaze car models sold by Honda have been diesel powered), the Japanese car maker will bombard the Indian car market with diesel engined cars.
The 1.5 Liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine, a derivative of the 1.6 Liter i-DTEC EarthDreams motor that powers the European Civic and CR-V models, is expected to spearhead Honda's diesel car blitz. According to the HinduBusinessLine, all four upcoming Honda cars for the Indian car market will feature diesel engines. The first car in this quartet will be the next generation, Honda Jazz hatchback. The car, based on an all new platform, will be available with petrol and diesel engine options for India. Click here to read more about the 2014 Jazz.
The new Jazz platform will underpin two other Honda cars in the form of the 2014 City sedan and the compact SUV. The 7 seat MPV, which is expected to be based on the Brio platform, will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the upcoming Chevrolet Enjoy Compact MPV. The Brio based MPV could make its debut in Indonesia later this year. All four of the new Honda car models are expected to be launched in India by the end of 2015.
Once all four of the new cars are launched in India, the Jazz and Brio platforms will play host to 3 cars each. The Jazz platform will underpin the Jazz hatchback, City sedan and the compact SUV. The Brio platform will underpin the Brio hatchback, the Amaze compact sedan and the upcoming 7 seat MPV. Cars based on the Jazz platform will come with premium price positioning while the Brio platform based cars will be models aimed at garnering the big volumes.
By jumping on to diesel power in a big way, Honda India hopes to take advantage of the sharply skewed Indian car market, in which buyers have been showing a preference for diesel powered cars. Diesel engined cars are inherently more fuel efficient, have better resale value and come with lower running costs (based on current prices of petrol and diesel) when compared to petrol engined cars. However, the future could bring its share of challenges for diesel cars as the Indian government's diesel deregulation program could restore parity between petrol and diesel prices.