The recently-launched new-generation Honda City will be the primary product that will be exported from India by the Japanese carmaker
Honda Cars India Limited has decided to make India a strategic hub for the export for left-hand-drive global markets, like Europe. As car sales in India are still recovering, Honda has taken a major hit. The production capacity is heavily underutilised at the moment, which is the primary reason for the brand’s decision.
Honda has two factories in India for cars, one in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and the other at Tapukara, Rajasthan. The combined production capacity of these plants is 2.8 lakh units annually. In comparison, Honda’s sales figures for FY2019-20 stood at only 1,02,016 units, a 44 per cent decline over the previous year, with an export volume of a mere 3,774 units.
This decision follows hot on the heels of the launch of the new-generation Honda City, which will be the brand’s key export from India. The company’s previous exports included the Amaze and the WR-V for the South African market, along with a few other African countries, but those were right-hand-drive models. This will be the first time Honda will be manufacturing left-hand-drive models in India.
“By the end of this year, Honda India will be adding new export destinations and left-hand drive markets for the first time ever. While the company’s primary focus continues to be the domestic market, with this new overseas push we expect the export volumes to almost double in this financial year,” said Gaku Nakanishi, president and CEO, Honda Cars India.
The 2020 Honda City was launched earlier this month, at a starting price of Rs. 10.89 lakh. It is available with two engine options. The first one is a 1.5-litre ‘i-VTEC’ petrol motor, which can generate 121 PS and 145 Nm, while the second one is a 1.5-litre ‘i-DTEC’ diesel mill, which produces 100 PS and 200 Nm. A 6-speed manual gearbox comes as standard with both powerplant options, and the petrol unit also gets the option for a CVT.
Other than that, Honda will also be introducing a new compact SUV soon, to rival Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. Some reports suggest that it might be the Honda HR-V, which was spied earlier this year at the company’s Rajasthan plant. If the company sets up a manufacturing line for the HR-V, it could perhaps be another car that Honda could export from India.