Honda has confirmed that it is working on a brand new SUV specifically targetting the Indian market; could be based on City’s platform
Honda Cars India has the Amaze and City as its popular models in the domestic market but the recent trend suggests that automobile manufacturers are reaping benefits of the SUV segments – mainly the compact and mid-size. Speculations surrounding Honda’s entry into the compact and mid-size SUV segments have been there for a long period.
A recent report indicated that Honda ditched the plans of a sub-four-metre SUV to concentrate on the mid-size space and previously it was said that the launch plans for the HR-V were shelved as it could not be localized to have a competitive price range. The brand has finally confirmed that it will be entering the SUV segment in the coming years.
Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India told in a recent interview that an “India focused SUV” is in development. He admitted that the shift towards SUVs has “accelerated in the first seven months of this year” as the market share of SUVs went up by as high as 34 per cent.
Moreover, the market share of sedans in the overall auto sector has been declining regularly. While he did not give any details on the brand new SUV under development, he did point out that the forthcoming model will be specific to the Indian market. It could be an all-new Honda SUV not seen anywhere else on the globe but its reach could be expanded subsequently.
The rumour mill has it that the SUV will be underpinned by the same platform as the fifth generation City that debuted last year in India. It will have an overall length of 4.3 metres and will compete against a host of mid-size SUVs such as Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Tata Harrier, MG Hector, upcoming VW Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, and the likes.
It could have a close connection with the production-spec N7X concept that will be revealed around November in Indonesia and it will act as a spiritual successor to the BR-V there. It will be heavily localized and expect the proven 1.5-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines from the City to be carried forward with manual and CVT transmission choices.
Said to be internally codenamed 31XA (S-SUV), it could be offered in five- and seven-seater configurations pertaining to a wider price range and audience.