Flush with the success of its entry-level sedan Amaze launched in April, Honda is developing a compact SUV based on the same platform, which is likely to be launched in India in 2015.
Amaze: laying the platform for new hits from Honda?
The vehicle will be less than 4 metres in length, which will qualify it for lower excise duties, and will be powered by the 1.5-litre diesel engine of the Amaze. Honda had showcased a new SUV Vezel, based on the bigger Jazz platform, at the Tokyo Motor Show last month, but it is unlikely to be launched in India soon as that car is over 4 metres long, which would make it costlier in India.
“The compact SUV segment in India is growing rapidly and now that we have a suitable diesel engine, we would want to participate in it,” said a senior Honda official in Japan. “Vezel will be an expensive vehicle for India. I do not think its a vehicle on priority for that market.”
Honda has also developed a 7-seater multi utility vehicle Mobilio, based on the small car Brio/Amaze sedan, which is due to be launched in India in the middle of next year. The Amaze, which has Honda’s first small diesel engine, has revived the company’s fortunes in India. In the 7 months since its launch, over 55,000 units have been sold, and it still has a waiting period of up to three months.
“We do not have a fixed plan for our future model line up to share at this moment,” the Honda Cars India spokesperson in India said. “But we will continue to consider any possibility to expand our lineup as per customer demand.”