Re: Honda Cars to discontinue production of Jazz, WR-V and 4th-gen City in India
Originally Posted by motorworks
Every country or region has its own complexities, whether it’s the preferences of the people, government taxation or right down to the road conditions. Some manufacturers manage it well and others simply don’t.
Honda has not made the right cars at the right price for the Indian market. Forget right price, they could have even charged a premium and gotten away with it. But where are the cars?
So let’s not blame everything else for Honda’s laziness and indecisiveness.
Honda/Toyota, in the developed markets - really don’t care /compete with Kia/Koreans. US/EU/North Asia covers their deep pocket and bottomline. India is a nuanced market for global auto makers. The same reason why for eg. Mondeo, Pontiac/Citroen, RAM, F150’s, T-Roc, and we can name so many - never see the light of the day (compliance factors - they come, they quietly take it away).
With BS6 and other doped up norms plus the unhealthy pricing competition from home grown Maruti’s /Tata/Mahindra (and they only survive with mass scale reach) many Japanese/EU/US car makers will only keep a very few selected mass produced portfolios and a few high end global standard cars to make up for the existential cost. Same reason why a RAV4 or a Honda Vezel platform never saw lights in India. Ditto for new gen CR-V’s or the top of the line R badge portfolios. Sad truth - india is not a priority market but a fringe market for these global car makers. They do not see 600 million middle class india market as a profitable market but a high investment, high maintenance but very Low margin market (tax, difficulty of doing business, weather, road status, gas quality etc adds to it). Impending recession, EV dreams etc are adding on top of it.
The days of India getting those new spec Vtec, Ford 2.4 ltr S trim, 1.8 or 2.0 TSI+DSG or a V6/V8 etc etc are gone. They have realised that the mass market is happy with the archaic 1.3 Mjd, just plonk a new body and a few LED’s and chrome here and there and people are happy for 2/3 years and repeat the cycle again - Kia’s are great with that too - VW learning fast and Maruti/Tata/Mahindra’s has mastered the art long ago. So in a nutshell, it is not Japanese and some other car makers don’t know or bad leadership there - it is a conscious decision at a certain point to not to compete and bring the best cars/engine/trims anymore to India.
Ford made absolutely zero loss by moving out of india, Honda and Toyota will make zero loss by removing many trims and just keeping a few mass market ones. But a few high end trims will come soon I’m sure - it will be at a premium of INR 30lacs categories, global specs, less margin for the dealers (another story there). “Make in India” is a brilliant tag line, but the reality for the real connoisseurs (whether Car, Bikes, high end electronics, good whisky, World class hotels, etc etc) are nothing less than nightmare ! As a small example - my family in Delhi still maintains the old canary yellow Skoda Octavia RS (if you know you know what is that - Bhpian Ajmat used to have one I remember) and most modern beemers or Audis can’t follow it’s tail lights in the highway even today ! It costs us 5 lac + for a total clutch overhaul plus some gear box fix by getting spares directly from Skoda Europe. Emotionally it makes a lot of sense for me, but as a car company, Skoda must be laughing and they can’t survive/ nor most companies would want to have any such business model in India today. Thanks gentlemen (& ladies)
Last edited by Eddy : 7th August 2022 at 15:07.
Reason: Shortening quoted portion and proper spacing in the reply - both for better readability