Honda is contemplating introducing its luxury brand Acura in India.
In an interview with Autocar India, Hironori Kanayama, president, Honda Cars India, said, “We are not concentrating on premium cars at the moment. But once this segment starts to grow and mature, Honda will consider bringing its luxury brand Acura here.”
Honda believes there is a good market for products positioned above the Accord. While this may be true, there will be some challenges in tapping into this segment. For one, the CBU route is currently not very feasible as the steep hike in import duties this year will make the cars too expensive. Also, if Honda adopts the CKD route, the investment may not justify the low volumes.
Toyota had considered bringing in its luxury marque Lexus but had to back off for the same reason. Nissan too has been considering launching its luxury arm Infiniti in India, but there hasn’t been any development and we’re yet to see a Japanese manufacturer enter the premium luxury space here.
The Acura brand is present in China and the USA. Honda could use it as a halo brand here and likely employ it to put up a better fight against the German Three.
The Acura RLX luxury saloon, which is larger than the Accord and MDX SUV (around the size of a BMW X5), could be viable options for our market. Prices are expected to be around Rs. 40 lakh for each.