Mobilio, Jazz and Urban SUV Vezel: Honda announces its triple threat to Indian competitors
Honda is on a comeback mission and has now confirmed that it will launch three new models in India by the end of next fiscal. At the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show, Honda showcased the new CR-Z, the Mobilio MPV, the Fit and the Fit hybrid, and the Vezel. While Honda may bring the CR-Z to our shores just as a brand building exercise, the other products unveiled have a mass appeal.
The most important of the trio is perhaps the Mobilio MPV, Honda's first MPV for the Indian market. We had a brief look at a pre-production model in Tokyo and suffice to say it has the goods to change the game in India, with the successful Maruti Ertiga and the upcoming Datsun Go+ in its cross hairs. The Mobilio will be manufactured at Honda's new plant in Tapukara alongside the new Jazz. Local content we expect will be high to make it more price competitive. Expect superb levels of fit and finish and refinement. The Mobilio also will be available with petrol and diesel motors- the former from the Brio or even the City while the latter from the Amaze/City.
Honda Mobilio Concept
India is known for its affinity for compact SUVs as success of Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster have amply demonstrated. For this very reason, Honda will be bringing in the mini CR-V in the form of the Vezel. The compact SUV is the production version of the Urban SUV Concept and boasts a 1.5-litre direct injection petrol engine from the City and for India, possibly the 1.5 diesel from the Amaze. The Amaze's 100PS engine will definitely attract more customers wanting a diesel Honda SUV in the Rs 8-10 lakh bracket in India. A hybrid variant has also been showcased.
Jazz or Fit
The Jazz may not have had a good run in the Indian market primarily due to its high price and poor marketing. We drove the 2015 Jazz at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, and needless to say, it is an improvement over its predecessor in every aspect. And it will also have a diesel engine. The only fly in the ointment could be the price but we believe Honda will learn from its past mistakes and price it very competitively. Also the Jazz hybrid is a far fetched idea for the Indian market and especially more so for Honda considering they have already burnt their fingers once with the Civic hybrid. In addition to these, Honda Motor India president and CEO Yoshiyuki Matsumoto said that the company is actively considering developing a small car fully in India. It could be either the next-gen Jazz or Brio series.
Honda Vezel SUV
Last but not the least, the all-new City with a diesel heart is expected to be unveiled on November 26. It promises to take the C-Segment game forward and bring back Honda into the fray. Honda is also betting big on all these launches to increase its market share in the Indian market.
The 2015 Honda Jazz
Expect Honda to showcase the new City, Jazz, Mobilio, Vezel and new Accord/Hybrid at the upcoming Auto Expo 2014.
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