Honda predicts its business in India to pick up as it prepares to enter the SUV market again next year

Honda’s India CEO, the Japanese automaker expects its Indian operations to resume growth as it prepares to re-enter the popular sports utility vehicle market in next year. Sports utility vehicle (SUV) sales have exceeded 30 lakh per year in the domestic passenger car market, but the corporation, which is present in the nation through a wholly-owned subsidiary, is now lacking in this market.

The automaker in recent years has discontinued models like CR-V, BR-V, and Mobilio in the market and now relies on its sedan portfolio — City, City HEV (hybrid), and compact sedan Amaze to bring in the volumes. In an interaction with PTI, Honda Cars India President and CEO Takuya Tsumura said the company has taken several steps in the last few years to make its business constitution “healthy” once again.

He agreed that the past three years had been challenging for the business as Honda made the decision to transition to electric mobility on a worldwide scale, forcing the corporation to restructure its operations and infrastructure to keep up with the times. Tsumura stated that the transformation process resulted in a number of actions, such as the closure of a few manufacturing facilities around the world, including one factory in India.

Tsumura said “I can say that we have bottomed out this year and from now on we are only going to go up he noted. Honda has seen its market share in the domestic passenger vehicle segment drop from 5.44 percent in FY19, to 2.79 percent in FY 22. Acknowledging that the lack of products in the high-selling SUV segment led to a drop in volumes and market share, the company is now gearing up to drive in an SUV model next year to revv up its sales. The company, which is currently relying on hybrid technology, could bring in battery electric products.”

As part of its business restructuring, Honda has decided to discontinue its three models — Jazz, WR-V, and fourth generation City — in India by the end of this financial year. In December 2020, the company stopped the production of Civic and CR-V with the closure of its Greater Noida plant to consolidate its production activities at its second plant at Tapukara in Rajasthan. The automaker had noted that the move has been taken to realign its manufacturing operations with the goal of improving business efficiency.

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