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Can Honda Regain Its Share Of India’s Car Market?

Honda Battles To Regain Its Share Of India’s Car Market

India’s thirst for automobiles is truly something to behold.  In terms of both importing and exporting vehicles, India has proven itself formidable. In 2019 it usurped Germany as the 4th largest automobile market in the world and if the general forecast is anything to go by, then in the course of 2021 it plans to dethrone Japan from third place.

India’s progress as both a producer and importer of automobiles can be narrowed down to growing demand, opportunities,  rising investment and policy support.  Like other competitive capitalist economies, India’s auto market is comprised of both externally and locally produced vehicles – thus making competition rife between international brands like Mercedes Benz and local ones like Tata. The aforementioned four major factors responsible for India’s sizeable auto market can be further unpacked to reveal its strengths: a rise in middle class income, an expansion of opportunities to include a lager focus on electric vehicles,  lower production costs and thus greater investments, and the government’s support to develop India as a global manufacturing centre.

It’s often said that if you can’t beat them you join them, and in India’s auto market, nothing personifies this notion more than Maruti Suzuki, a subsidiary of Japan’s Suzuki headquartered in India. Thus far 2021 has been dominated by this company’s Alto, Swift, Wagon, Baleno and the Dzire. But there’s another old and well-liked Japanese company looking to snap at the heels of the competition, and that company is none other than Honda.

Honda’s plan to return

After having lost its market share in India, Honda has struggled to turn things around. The Japanese auto maker faces stiff competition from the likes of Hyundai, Kia Motors and Tata. Such has the competition been, that the Honda product line has been reduced to 4 models, all nearing the end of their life cycles.  With such rife competition, one can only imagine the profitable potential of CFD trading in the automotive industry at the moment. At the time of publication, Honda’s share price was sitting at 3304 JPY (US$30,13) while Suzuki’s was 4861 JPY (US$44,33).  Honda sustained further blows when it announced the closing of a facility in Greater Noida along with the discontinuation of its Civic and CR-V models. Now the company plans to make a turn-around with the launch of at least 4 new models over the coming years.

Honda’s big four

Leading Honda’s re-penetration of the Indian automarket is its HR-V Hybrid, a sleek mid-sized SUV due to launch at the end of this year. The HR-V will sport a premium interior along with a strong hybrid powertrain. The vehicle will deliver 109bhp from a 1.5L iMMD (intelligent Multi Mode Drive) petrol and dual electric motor.  Next up is the Honda City Hybrid, set for a mid 2021 release date. Also equipped with two electric motors, and combined with a petrol engine, this car produces a total of 108bhp and 253Nm.  The Honda Amaze will get a facelift in the form of some key design changes. These include projector headlamps, new grill, updated bumpers and LED tail lights. As for the motor, expect both petrol and diesel variations  – 1.2L for petrol (89bhp and 110Nm) and 1.5L for turbo-diesel (99bhp and 200Nm). The latest Honda Compact SUV will be 4 metres in length and go by the name, Honda ZR-V. 2022 is the ETA on this one and potential buyers can expect it to rival the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300, Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Tata Nexon.

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