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Old 31st January 2020, 11:58   #16
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

Honda now comes under the unenviable category of brands whose "Used" cars are more desirable than their "Prime" cars. Honda City, Amaze, CRV are much sought after and hold their value very well.

I regard this is due to the dilution of brand values. For Honda who created a walking robot "Asimo" to showcase their innovation, this is a very sad turn of events. None of their models are exciting & their sky-high prices seem to mock our intelligence.

Japanese Car Brands, which hold a commanding share in most major markets, seem to have wilfully accepted that India is a hard nut to crack. Perhaps they did not have their ears to the ground and missed the signals. With the oncoming Chinese stampede, they will be left in the dust.

Some of my all-time favourite models are Japanese. Honda S2000, Honda CRX, Toyota GT86, Nissan Skyline etc. Too bad they didn't take the Indian car buyer seriously.
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Old 31st January 2020, 12:11   #17
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

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Originally Posted by AmazeGuru View Post
I am sure many would agree that their engineering division was one of the best in business till recently. Just to quote few examples - the gem-of-a-petrol-engine in City.
The petrol was/is a gem, but it has been around for ages and is not a recent innovation. The same engine has already powered a couple of generations of the city and will power at least another one.

What really helps is the light weight of the City. The outgoing generation is lighter than even a Tigor JTP in most variants.

Competition has moved on to turbo petrols and gasoline direct injection motors. Take Hyundai's 1.0 TGDi for example- produces more power and a lot more torque than the Honda 1.5L. The 1.4 TGDi seen first with Kia Seltos is in a totally different level. Even TATA and Mahindra have competent 1.2 turbo petrols now that can compete with the 1.5 iVTec in power with a lot more torque.

Won't be long before one of these motors find it's place under the Hyundai Verna too.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 31st January 2020 at 12:18.
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Old 31st January 2020, 12:42   #18
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

Honda for a brief time forgot what they were good at. They made good cars and made them incrementally better. They tried to jump band wagon to get volumes. Tried to copy what Hyundai was doing. And never stood a change against Hyundai. And all this rush to market trumped up products created confusion among loyalists and never made any new loyalists. I fail to understand what kind of market research did they do on their new civic. The so called research is not helping them either. Gave a lackluster engine in the Civic and spoiled a brilliant design. So Honda should be having DejaVu with the Civic. At least in the scooter segment they will sell volumes. They might keep in incrementing the number before the 'G' badge and some day reach 'infinte' G version of the Activa. They can come back. Don't copy Hyundai. Throw all the market research(and reach team bhp). Stick to strengths. Be honest and put forward good cars.
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Old 31st January 2020, 12:54   #19
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

They have been greedy, lazy and unimaginative. I blame the management for this. Their model portfolio is a mishmash predominantly sedans in an SUV centric market: Amaze, City and Civic. Their SUV: horrendously priced CR-V. Tiny WR-V (no automatic) and almost forgotten BR-V. There's no model to take on the Creta/Seltos brigade and no hatchbacks to cater to the entry level in India?? At this rate, I don't know if Honda would survive another 2 years in India. How long can they pin their hopes on a sole savior: Amaze??!!
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Old 31st January 2020, 13:25   #20
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

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Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
From a desirable car brand, they went to Brio>Mobilo>Amaze>BR-V>WR-V route. Quality went down, overpriced, and dealer experience is really bad at some locations. They took the 'magic' out of current Jazz and decided not to launch new Jazz here in India. They could have considered Jazz cross at least.
The Jazz cross is basically the WRV
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Old 31st January 2020, 13:27   #21
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

There was a report of two new SUVs coming. Link below. These 2 plus new city can bring them back to the game

https://www.autocarindia.com/car-new...r-india-408209
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Old 31st January 2020, 14:00   #22
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The Jazz cross is basically the WRV
I meant latest Jazz cross.
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Old 31st January 2020, 14:59   #23
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

Slightly off-topic, but Honda and Toyota have both behaved similarly in India.

Honda entered a growing 'premium' segment with a premium priced offering (city) and saw success due to lack of competition. In the face of competition it lost it's way. Instead of playing to it's strength to maintain prices, it resorted to cheaper products, but kept premium pricing! And now, the segment itself is in decline and they are saddled with the least desirable product in it.

Toyota also had a similar story, with the Qualis and Innova. Fortunately, Innova is in a segment which continues to grow and has had no real competition; thus it continues to sell at it's premium pricing for a relatively run-of-the-mill product.
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Old 31st January 2020, 15:09   #24
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

Its funny how I was crazy about the Civic and City 10 years back and today when I could actually think of getting one, I would not consider either of them !
Skoda/VW has become more 'desirable' than Honda for me

All points that I wanted to tell are already highlighted in earlier posts.
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Old 31st January 2020, 16:53   #25
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

Honda really messed up things big time. That said, Honda still makes the smoothest revving and most silent petrol engines. Hyundai makes better diesel engines but when it comes to petrols, it's Honda. Old or not, Vtec is still the best out there among same class.

When India was courting diesels in a big way in 2000s, Honda had none and that did them in. But, now with diesels on the wane and renewed interest in petrol cars, they can be the come back kid if they play their cards well. I won't write them off altogether.
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Old 31st January 2020, 17:14   #26
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

What happened to Honda must be a lesson to all manufacturers- treating the Indian customers as second class citizens by offering cheap and/or made for emerging market products will must not work. Time and again proved by offerings from Renault/Nissan etc

While I have no problem with companies chasing volumes, they can’t do it at the cost of quality. I was thoroughly disappointed when the Brio and Amaze were nowhere close to competing with the Grand i10 and Xcent.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 31st January 2020 at 17:16.
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Old 31st January 2020, 17:30   #27
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

I don't think introduction of Brio platform was a mistake. After all, there is hardly a market for Civics, CRVs and Accords. Where Honda messed up is with product planning.

1) Lack of features when compared to Koreans
2) Lack of engine and transmission options.

I think (2) is the biggest reason for Honda's failure to gain marketshare. They got into diesel engine segment too late. And by the time they setup a new factory, demand for diesel engined cars starting falling - primarily due to increasing prices. When it comes to transmission, Honda has stuck with either manuals or expensive petrol CVTs (Rs. 1 to 1.5 Lakh premium). No cheaper transmission options like torque convertors or AMTs or diesel engined ATs.

Honda's product planning team was (and still is) way behind the curve.

Last edited by SmartCat : 31st January 2020 at 17:36.
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Old 31st January 2020, 17:59   #28
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I grew up looking up to Honda cars and it was my dream to buy a Honda as soon as I could afford it. So, what happened later?

When I started my career, Honda city was a drool-worthy car. In fact, this was the only car Honda was selling at that time. Its proportions were spot on. It was like a benchmark for sedans. Its competitors were Esteem, Lancer, and Accent. Esteem was already old by that time and had lost all its appeal. Lancer, though old was holding well, Accent too was great to look at and was a decent performer. Accent lacked the desirability of City and Lancer. But it was way ahead of Esteem. I'm talking about the year 2000.

I had to go on-site to middle-east and a few years later to US of A. I saw the Honda cars were like Maruti 800. Everyone had one. Along with Corolla, Camry, Accords and Civics - Japanese cars ruled the mass market. Suzuki was nowhere to be seen. I started to drool for the Civic as it had great looks and quintessential sedan qualities. Civic which came to India much later was a mass seller in US. When I came back from US, dolphin shape City was on offer, which was nowhere nearly as graceful as my dream City (OHC). Honda again updated to the next gen city in 2009 to this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_...011-01-13).jpg

This was better than the dolphin in every aspect (That is what I thought). iVtec was standard across the variants. So, I had marked the brand, model, generation for when I'm ready to buy a sedan. I used to drive a hatch those times. In 2010 finally, it was time to upgrade to sedan. So, the first car that was evaluated was the "New Honda City".

I went to the showroom and saw the car, was impressed by the exterior, sat inside to check the interior. The disappointment was right there in the dashboard - those silver inserts and the oddly shaped dashboard was screaming "I'm cheap". Still having the hangover of the city dreams - asked for the quote. I was shocked that variant to variant it was ~2 lacs expensive compared to the competition. No alloys, no Climate control, no fog lamps. What was disappointing was not the price - but the lack of equipment and lack of quality interiors for that price. With a heavy heart had to reject the offer and moved on. All this after my friends had appraised me about the iVtec fun of driving. Didn't even take the test drive - that was the level of disappointment.

I think it was this point in the journey of Honda, they started to lose their brand values. Even though many prospects bought Honda cars after that, they were buying knowing that Honda has deviated from its core. I was still watching Honda and its trajectory. Every launch after that (except international models like Civic, CRV), was inferior in quality than the prev gen. City received many facelifts to correct them, but the image had taken a beating. Handa Jazz flopped at the launch itself with its atrocious pricing. In fact, the dealer himself, said - "don't bother sir, that car is not for you.".

Then came the biggest mistake of Honda cars in India. They wanted to attack Maruti in small car segment (with BRIO and its derivatives). Why did they think they can do so? They were so proud of their iVtec, perhaps they thought even if they fit that engine to a horse cart, people will queue up at their showrooms with the cheques in hand. Sadly, the market was shocked - the premium brand Honda started to sell cheap economy cars? If people wanted cheap small hatches, why will they buy from Honda - they would buy from Maruti right? So, Brio bombed. I thought Honda learnt its lesson - I was wrong again. They followed up Brio with Amaze and Mobilio from the same platform. The market again showed them the mirror. Later they dropped Brio and completely rebuilt Amaze, Mobilio was upgraded to BRV. 2nd gen Amaze gained a respectable market share, but the brand perception had taken a big beating by then. Honda of 2000s was a premium, high quality, reliable, high-performance, aspirational brand. Honda of 2010s was cheap quality, high-arrogance, over-priced, lackluster design cars. They retained the high-performance and reliability - but these attributes work well with premium-ness which was lost by Honda by a long shot. At the same time, Hyundai had refreshed its Verna, launched premium models like Tucson, Elantra, Santa-Fe and Sonata. Even though they are not big volume cars, it was an image boost for Hyundai. So, Honda's loss was Hyundai's gain. With every next-gen model Hyundai increased its premuim-ness and appeal. Plus Hyundai had Diesel engine expertise, which Honda ignored for a long long time.

Honda is a textbook case of "How to ruin an enthusiast brand?". In the 2020s the game will be of the Electrics/Hybrids. Honda is nowhere in the scene. Honda I fear will be like HM and Premier (Once super successful, but lost the market due to its arrogance and bad management). Today's Honda is neither futuristic nor aspirational.

Last edited by manjunathkl : 31st January 2020 at 18:23.
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Old 31st January 2020, 19:54   #29
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

I think bean counters started to have more say in the decisions instead of engineers.

Last edited by ajmat : 31st January 2020 at 20:06.
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Old 31st January 2020, 21:11   #30
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Default Re: Honda Cars India floats VRS scheme for its manufacturing staff

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Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
... I was thoroughly disappointed when the Brio and Amaze were nowhere close to competing with the Grand i10 and Xcent.
There are many companies that have introduced low-cost platforms, E.g. Kwid platform. But Honda had a premium brand image. It is like BMW selling a mileage car.

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
I don't think introduction of Brio platform was a mistake. After all, there is hardly a market for Civics, CRVs and Accords. Where Honda messed up is with product planning.
I disagree. There was a fairly premium City platform on which they built City, Jazz and now WR-V. This segment is a mass-market segment and the potential to be a volume player. Yet they failed miserably to capitalize.

Also, completely ignoring a real C-SUV at the prices of Creta/Duster/EcoSport was a big blunder. And No. WR-V is not a C-SUV, how much ever cladding they put on it. And BR-V is not a SUV - it is a MUV which failed to disguise itself as a SUV. CR-V was in D segment, so it cannot be volume player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaotic View Post
.. Instead of playing to it's strength to maintain prices, it resorted to cheaper products, but kept premium pricing!
Yes, they forgot their strengths and tried to play by the rules of Maruti. Maruti has positioned itself in the economy segment very firmly. No one can shake them there. Honda learnt it the hard way. Even if they wanted to experiment in economy segments, they shouldn't have done it at the cost of the premium segment.


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Originally Posted by chaotic View Post
Toyota also had a similar story, with the Qualis and Innova. Fortunately, Innova is in a segment which continues to grow and has had no real competition; thus it continues to sell at it's premium pricing for a relatively run-of-the-mill product.
True, all that is gonna change. Hector has already dented the Innova Crysta numbers, KIA Carnival is going to change the premium MPV game altogether. Toyota is a sitting duck. Toyota Vellfire is a CBU and priced at 90 Lakhs. So, it cannot compete with Kia Carnival.

Last edited by manjunathkl : 31st January 2020 at 21:15.
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