Honda finally decides to battle Maruti Alto, Hyundai Santro | autos | Hindustan Times
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Honda finally decides to battle Maruti Alto, Hyundai Santro

autos Updated: Oct 15, 2010 23:13 IST
Sumant Banerji
Sumant Banerji
Hindustan Times
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Japanese car major Honda Siel Cars India on Friday said it is planning an entry-level small car for India that will compete with Maruti Alto and Hyundai Santro, likely to be priced between R3-3.5 lakh.

The small car, being developed in Japan, will be Honda’s third in the country after the Jazz and its upcoming second small car codenamed 2CV to be launched during the festive season next year.

“Globally there is a tendency towards smaller cars and our research and development division in Japan is looking at that segment (Alto, Santro) as well,” Takashi Nagai, President and CEO, Honda Siel Cars India told Hindustan Times. “What we are working at is combining the K cars in Japan with some cars in Brazil and India and making a car smaller than what we showcased during the Auto Expo in January.”

Honda’s maiden small car Jazz, which was launched last year, has had below par sales so far, but Honda remains upbeat with the prospects of the other small cars. The 2CV that is based on the concept showcased during the New Delhi expo, is likely to be priced around R4-4.5 lakh enabling it to compete with Maruti Swift and Hyundai i10. This car may also get a sedan version later.

“We are focussed right now on successfully launching our next small car,” Nagai said. “With this car, we will hopefully increase our sales beyond 1 lakh units from the current 60,000 units and also start car assembly at our Tapukara plant. Initially it will only be a hatchback, but like the City (sedan for Jazz) it may also be expanded to a sedan.”