Honda India will launch the Mobilio MPV by July this year. The Mobilio is Honda's entry into the MPV segment and will rival the Maruti Ertiga and Chevrolet Enjoy. Jnaneshwar Sen, senior vice-president, marketing and sales HCIL, provided us with answers to a few pressing questions about the Mobilio.
HCIL has been studying the Indian MPV market for quite some time. Based on its research on the needs of the Indian customer, all know-how related to MPVs has been spent in developing the Mobilio. Honda aims to evolve and redefine the MPV market in India, not just take on the Maruti Ertiga.
The company claims that with the introduction of the Amaze and the new City, its operating universe has increased from 10 percent to the current 30. During the previous fiscal year, the company registered a growth of 83 per cent and this time, their MPV entry is expected to be another game changer. HCIL has been working to heavily localise the manufacturing process for the Mobilio. Right now the Amaze, the Brio and the City procure nearly 90 per cent of their parts locally and the Mobilio is expected to follow suit.
The Mobilio is expected to appeal more to personal buyers than the tourist vehicle segment. It is nearly 4.5m long and has a ground clearance of 185mm. HCIL says that the Mobilio will be a premium product and will offer the traditional family opting for a sedan or an SUV another option. The Honda Mobilio will offer space, comfort and utility in just the right size.
Apart from customer feedback, Honda has also dipped deep into its existing international product lineup. This includes the Freed and the Odyssey. HCIL's key concern was to address the low fuel economy that is usually associated with MPVs. For this, Honda has deployed the tried and tested 1.5-litre engines in petrol and diesel configurations. The petrol will be the 119PS engine from the new City while the diesel will be the 100PS motor from the Amaze. A five-speed manual transmission will be standard while the petrol may also have an option of a CVT. HCIL has confirmed that there will be no CNG/LPG variant.
Production of the Mobilio has already started at HCIL's Greater Noida plant. We can expect the Mobilio to be priced very competitively despite the premium feel it will come with.