Looks like Honda is making heavy investments in India in its attempt to become a more mainstream car maker. All Honda cars till date have been designed and developed abroad - even the highly India specific cars like Brio and Amaze. Apparently Honda wants to change this trend and in future will develop India specific cars in India. This, IMO, will enable them design and test their cars to be more suited for India. Welcome move by Honda. However, this should not become just a cost-cutting effort, but instead be a purposeful effort to design better cars for the local market with much more local inputs and local testing.
Please read more in the IAB article
and Motorbeam article
Please find the relevant parts quoted below.
The forthcoming October will see Honda inaugurate its new R&D Center in Greater Noida, which will play a strategic role in developing volume-oriented products. |
According to Katsushi Inoue, president & CEO of Honda Cars India, India is the largest market for the Brio series (Brio, Amaze, Mobilio and a reportedly yet-to-be-revealed compact SUV), and hence the country will be a key contributor to the development of future Brio-based cars. “So the next generation Brio based cars would be tailored for the Indian customers”, he told Economic Times in an interview.
Speaking about the future of the Brio series, Mr. Inoue said that “in the next few years” the company will release the new Brio series, and that the development work for the project is ongoing.
Honda will be inaugurating a new R&D centre in Gurgaon in October. One of the first cars to be designed there would be the next generation Brio. |
Honda has seen growth like never before with the introduction of diesel engine in India. The sales volumes have skyrocketed and the factories are running at full capacity. This has helped the brand stay profitable even after being in the investment phase. The newer cars such as Amaze or City aren’t as well built as the previous generation cars and this has led to disappointment amongst Honda aficionados. However, things are set to improve under the leadership of Katsushi Inoue who has just been appointed the CEO and President of Honda Cars India.
Honda will be inaugurating a new R&D centre in Gurgaon which will help the brand design cars for India more efficiently. Conducting region specific tests becomes easier this way and lesser resources will be needed for research. India is currently the biggest market of cars based on the Brio platform and hence the brand shall be developing the next generation Brio and related cars in India tailored to suit the needs of the customers in the nation. However, no timeline with regards to the launch of the next generation Brio platform vehicles has been made available as of now but the Japanese carmaker has confirmed about the launch in a few years.