With a new small diesel car, Amaze, the Japanese auto maker has jumped few notches from the distant 6th position a year ago to the third slot in India.
If Honda Amaze compact sedan had helped the car manufacturer to enter into the highly competitive volume segment with a single diesel product from its stable, its mid-sized sedan, Honda City pushed several notches to become the third largest car brand in the country, that too within a short span of time. The leading brands like Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India had taken a long time to achieve their respective number one and two spots.
Honda has registered a total sales of 100,495 cars during the first ten months of the current fiscal in contrast with the sales figures of 56,713 units recorded in the previous year. Interestingly, Honda is the only car maker in India to achieve a six digit sales during the period under review after the top two players, MSIL and HMIL. When the Japanese auto maker Maruti Suzuki India osted a sales figure of 719,842 vehicles, the Chennai-based Korean car maker, HMIL has clocked a sales figure of 310,864 units. The sales of Honda, MSIL and HMIL put together in the country has overtaken the volumes of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Tata Motors and Ford Motor India.
The compact sedan, Honda Amaze, which was rolled out in April ast year has been selling in great numbers consistently till date, eating into the domain of Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, the market leader in that segment. Before the introduction of Honda Amaze, the Japanese auto maker did not have a single diesel car model in India. The company was sustaining with the sale of Honda City, a popular sedan doing reasonably well. Honda Accord was also selling in small numbers. Honda had realised that with petrol engine alone and without having a product in the volume segment (read compact car), it could not make a fortune in the highly competitive Indian market. Honda came up with a brilliant product. Honda Amaze diesel compact car, with all the trappings of its mid-sized sedan, Honda City. Indian consumers can’t ask for more. The result was just amazing. This product changed the fortune of Honda, which not only sold in big numbers but also helped the auto maker to improve the pole position from the sixth spot to an enviable third!
In fact, the sale of Amaze, along with the new generation City (more later), the company achieved the highest ever sales in January this year. Honda sold 15,714 cars logging a growth of a whopping 188 percent, in comparison to the sales of 5,451 units in the year ago period.
Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice President – Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India said: “We have kick-started the year 2014 with a positive note as we had received humungous response to our all new City, along with strong showing by our compact sedan, Amaze”.
Honda also shipped 88 vehicles in January this year, besides achieving a milestone of crossing 100,000 cars sales for the first time during the current financial year. The car maker had sold 101,370 vehicles during the period between April 2013 and January 2014, clocking a growth of 78 percent as against the figure of 56,929 cars sold in the corresponding period of the previous year.
New generation Honda City
And then came the highly improved version of City, which not only regained its numero uno position in the mid-sized sedan segment in January this year, (Hyundai Verna overtook Honda City a couple of years back), but also helping the Japanese auto maker to transform the brand value up the value chain. In the mid-sized sedan category, the overall volume was pegged at 15,858 vehicles, out of that, Hyundai Verna logged a sales of 3,803 units.
Not intending to rest under the past laurels, Honda is cruising ahead with a slew of new products. Sen, while launching the new generation Honda City in Chennai recently had stated the company would be launching two new models in the next fiscal. The products that are in the pipeline includes a seven seater MPV, Honda Mobilio and an all new premium hatchback, Honda Jazz. Honda has certainly scaled heights and is now looking beyond to conquer the top slot in the coming years. Whether Honda will be a number one brand in India, only time can tell.