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Old 19th October 2021, 14:47   #1
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Default Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Greetings to fellow BHPians!
Recently in the "What Car?" thread, I have observed the absence of the presence of a well-packaged C-SUV in the 10-17L segment.

Concerns of the already existing vehicles in the segment-

  1. Hyundai Creta/ Kia Seltos- safety concerns (3-star GNCAP rating)
  2. MS S-Cross- Absence of a better TC unit. And perhaps the design both inside and outside needs an update.
  3. MG Astor- Chinese connection concerns
  4. Skoda Kushaq- EPC issue and now another undetected issue leading to breakdowns; lack of reliability
    VW Taigun[/b]- Same as Kushaq. Also, it demands a premium over the Kushaq and is comparatively less VFM.
  5. Tata & Mahindra- Lack of reliability and guarantee of fuss-free ownership; Also the absence of a vehicle in the segment
  6. Note- Many people also do not prefer VAGs due to the assumed high maintenance.

Similar concerns for the respective car manufacturers have been raised in lower segments as well.

Trends in the market-



Trends have changed and people now want a vehicle with a higher stance, high ground clearance, and a long list of features along with a good safety kit.
IMO, the priorities usually go as follows-
1. Safety
2. Reliability
1&2 are interchangeable.
3. Feature-rich
4. Driving Dynamics
3&4 are interchangeable.

Honda's chance to dominate the Indian car market-



For the past few years, Honda has been relying on the City and Amaze to help it run its shop in India. However, now is Honda's chance to dominate the Indian car market and easily reach number 2 and maybe in a few years number 1.

Their new cars could/should have-
1. Rock-solid Japanese reliability (Indians love Japs, they only go to the Koreans (and further) because of lack of options)
2. Good safety (4* GNCAP with a stable structure for the Amaze is re-assuring)
3. VFM offering (IMO, 50K premium for Honda is acceptable but not over that)

Honda's possible plan of action to conquer the segment-


1. Honda City based Creta rival
2. Honda City based Nexon rival
3. Honda City based Altroz/i20 rival
(Jazz & WR-V are lost causes)
4. Honda Amaze based Tiago rival
5. Honda Amaze based Punch rival

With this plan, Honda can easily take Hyundai's spot in the Indian car market. Also, the market has largely moved to petrols so the market is their strong area. I sincerely hope someone at Honda reads this and we have some good offerings in India.
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Old 19th October 2021, 15:45   #2
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajk15 View Post
2. Good safety (4* GNCAP with a stable structure for the Amaze is re-assuring)
This GNCAP rating was for the Africa spec Amaze. The car was made in India, but was not the India spec model. The result cannot be just extrapolated.

The GNCAP certificate mentions the car’s weight to be 1173kg. The India spec Amaze weighs 905-934kg as per the brochure.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 19th October 2021 at 15:52.
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Old 19th October 2021, 16:02   #3
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

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Originally Posted by rajk15 View Post
[*]Tata & Mahindra- Lack of reliability and guarantee of fuss-free ownership; Also the absence of a vehicle in the segment
I am not sure am reading this correctly, are you saying TATA and M&M do not have vehicles in the C-SUV segment? I think they have some of the best cars in the segment. Nexon, XUV3OO are doing fairly well.
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Old 19th October 2021, 16:15   #4
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajk15 View Post

Honda's possible plan of action to conquer the segment-


1. Honda City based Creta rival
2. Honda City based Nexon rival
3. Honda City based Altroz/i20 rival
(Jazz & WR-V are lost causes)
4. Honda Amaze based Tiago rival
5. Honda Amaze based Punch rival

With this plan, Honda can easily take Hyundai's spot in the Indian car market. Also, the market has largely moved to petrols so the market is their strong area. I sincerely hope someone at Honda reads this and we have some good offerings in India.
As a start, all Honda needs is 3 good cars to make a comeback:

- CSUV competing with Nexon etc
- SUV competing with Creta/Seltos
- Full blooded SUV priced against the mighty Fortuner

Any more launches and it will distract the company. Any less launches would mean they are leaving serious money on the table.
Honda still has the brand name in the India market that can be capitalised on. Not sure if we will be able to say that in a couple of years.

Last edited by warrioraks : 19th October 2021 at 16:17.
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Old 19th October 2021, 16:17   #5
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

If Honda wanted to do it, they probably would have. Incompetent management and undesirable products are not a good combination to dominate anything leave alone the hyper competitive and sensitive Indian auto market.

Honda day on day is looking more like a lost cause. Neither is their new design language attractive nor are they offering anything unique to the market.

Creating new cars based on existing platforms costs a lot of money and it doesn't currently look like they are ready to do it with focus being more on EV's.

With a renewed sense of nationalism sweeping our masses I doubt people would ditch the highly competitive and capable Nexon and XUV 300 and run to buy a Honda.

No one thinks Honda is premium or desirable anymore. Their cars like their showrooms are dull, drab and undesirable places to be in.
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Old 19th October 2021, 16:55   #6
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Honda is no position to dominate the Indian market regardless of the car or segment.
Period.

What people love about Honda, or used to love about Honda, no longer applies to Honda.

Gone are your fun-to-drive cars.
Gone are your premium cars.
Gone are your top-notch build quality cars.

There are other manufacturers already operating in the Indian market that can offer products that the market demands. Honda is definitely not one of them.
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Old 19th October 2021, 16:59   #7
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

I understand India's romance with a once desirable Honda brand.

They have fallen so far behind and a shadow of their former self. Hyundai/Kia are much bigger and more potent automotive behemoths in comparison. Even is the Japanese player brings out a Creta rival, the Koreans will immediately up their game.

Forget dominate, Honda's current struggle is to simply remain relevant!
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Old 19th October 2021, 17:42   #8
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

1. Bring the City hybrid.

2. Launch the new BRV with the engine options of the City.
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Old 19th October 2021, 19:18   #9
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

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Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
I understand India's romance with a once desirable Honda brand.
Exactly. Honda was a once desirable brand and not anymore. People have moved on.

Selling nostalgia may bring in few customers but not much.

Its like those people who are still trying to sell 20 year old Zen for two lakhs on olx.
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Old 19th October 2021, 19:46   #10
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

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Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
1. Bring the City hybrid.
This is a great suggestion. It is a pity there are no affordable hybrids sold in a country with the most congested traffic. Even though Honda is no longer hot in our market, I rate them on par with Toyota when it comes to providing well engineered and reliable cars. They just need to come up with a couple of great cars that suit our market sensibilities - affordable Hybrid hatch/sedan/crossover would be a game changer for Honda.
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Old 19th October 2021, 20:19   #11
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Just using their Diesel CVT combo on the Wrv & City will significantly boost their sale, but no, Honda will procrastinate to do anything significant.
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Old 19th October 2021, 22:02   #12
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

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Originally Posted by giri1.8 View Post
Just using their Diesel CVT combo on the Wrv & City will significantly boost their sale, but no, Honda will procrastinate to do anything significant.
This is a very common misunderstanding IMHO. Honda just took the lazy approach of plonking what is available! That CVT was never engineered for a diesel engine, hence the massive detune to accommodate the 'jugaad'. The result, even on the lightweight Amaze is - 77bhp/ton and 155 Nm/ton.

To put that into perspective, the 936cc, 3-cylinder version of the 1.3 Multijet which was used in the Chevrolet Beat - had almost similar torque figures as this modern, detuned 1.5L turbo-diesel is forced to produce so as to work with the CVT. However, with the convenience of that CVT - all this can be overlooked and the Amaze diesel CVT is a good proposition indeed. (Except when considering the silly pricing of the facelift model)

However, put the same combination into the city and the figures will end up somewhat like this -
City Diesel CVT - Approx Power to weight - 79/1250*100 = 63.2 bhp/ton
City Diesel CVT - Approx Torque to weight - 160/1250*100 = 128 Nm/ton

WRV Diesel CVT - Approx Power to weight - 79/1270*100 = 62.2 bhp/ton
WRV Diesel CVT - Approx Torque to weight - 160/1270*100 = 125.9 Nm/ton

Now one can imagine how that combination will fare against something like the Kia Sonet 1.5 AT which gets ~94bhp/ton and ~210 Nm/ton.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 19th October 2021 at 22:05.
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Old 19th October 2021, 22:22   #13
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajk15 View Post

Honda's possible plan of action to conquer the segment-


1. Honda City based Creta rival
2. Honda City based Nexon rival
3. Honda City based Altroz/i20 rival
(Jazz & WR-V are lost causes)
4. Honda Amaze based Tiago rival
5. Honda Amaze based Punch rival

Nice and any would want Honda to have this line up. But, I don't want Honda to see this. They will immediately shut the shop and wind up. Honda, today seriously lacks intent to have their presence, leave dominance in our market. They are shy of re-inventing themselves. If they had this, we would have had half of this lineup already in the market.

We already have a " thread (Honda India : The Way Forward)" started around 2016, still strong and has a 50+ pages of useful rant.

Last edited by saisree : 19th October 2021 at 22:23.
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Old 19th October 2021, 23:12   #14
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

Typically an SUV/Crossover based on a sedan tends to cost more than the sedan itself, so that kind of rules out half the "city based" suggestions you have given considering the City itself is pretty pricey.
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Old 20th October 2021, 00:00   #15
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Default re: Problems with cars in India & Honda's chance to dominate the Crossover segment

The problem is "MONEY", Honda already has products in other ASEAN markets which are relevant models to the Indian Automotive market. For reference, we will take the Indonesian market which is of extreme importance for Honda. Now, if we do a direct conversion as per their official websites here are the prices of it's products sold in the country:-

Honda Brio - 8.3 Lakhs
City Hatchback RS - 15.5 Lakhs
Honda HRV - 15.7 Lakhs
Honda Civic - 28.4 Lakhs

Atleast in the budget segment now, I am not sure if consumers will be willing to pay that kind of money for Brio & City Hatch but then again it's weird when Honda claims that they cannot make the HR-V affordable. The consumers aren't asking them to go Kia & Hyundai way, offering plethora of variants but a couple of good variants with a decent engines at around similar price points of Creta & Tiguan top end variants should hit the chord right.

Now, the concern is localisation. Furthermore, I strongly feel Honda is not confident enough due to the lack of potent (Diesel) powertrain to enter this segment and the Petrol segment is already saturated moreover the new City's sales have further dented their confidence & somewhere along the way, manufacturer has realised it's brand positioning as well which no more commands the premium tag which it used to do during their hay days.

All said and done, the right move to gauge the market for now, would be to launch the Indonesian BR-V which commands around 14.6 Lakhs for the top of the line variant beginning at around 12.75 Lakhs and see if they can even sell 2k units of the same. If that works out in their favour, it opens a lot of doors for the Japanese giant.
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