Honda launched the Accord hybrid in India at Rs 37 lakh, ex-Delhi. The ninth-generation Accord is brought to the country via the CBU route, which makes it close to Rs 7 lakh more expensive than the locally assembled Toyota Camry hybrid. Honda now says that it might look at locally assembling its flagship sedan in India, if it can do sales of 5,000 units a year, said Yoichiro Ueno, president and CEO, Honda Cars India Ltd.
At the launch event, he mentioned that the present manufacturing facilities in Greater Noida and Tapukara do not permit the assembly of a vehicle the size of the Accord hybrid. The same can only be done with changes in the assembly lines, thereby also needing additional investment. And for that the company needs to clock the aforementioned sales figure. Ueno mentioned that the company presently has imported over 30 units of the Accord Hybrid, of which all have been booked and deliveries will begin from sometime next month.
Considering the fact that the Toyota Camry hybrid is locally assembled in Bidadi, near Bangalore, it attracts a benefit of Rs 70,000 under the FAME initiative applicable on the purchase of any hybrid or electric vehicles. When asked about the different measures that Honda India plans to undertake to counter the FAME benefits on the Camry hybrid, the company official replied that the Accord hybrid attracts five per cent VAT duty only. The same is also applicable on the Toyota Camry hybrid.
Now that Honda has entered the hybrid game, will we see the same technology in its mass segment offerings like the City and the Jazz too? Ueno replied that the company would monitor the demand and the acceptability of the hybrid technology in India, and if found sustainable they will accordingly take a stand on the same.
The Honda Accord hybrid will be available only through select few 28 dealers in 17 cities in India. However, the company will provide technical support to the customers across the country. The premium sedan gets a 5-year/unlimited km warranty on the battery and 3-year/unlimited km warranty in general.