Honda's Exclusive Focus on SUVs for India, Anticipating New EV Models

Toshihiro Mibe, President, CEO and Representative Director, Honda Motor Company, said that Honda Cars India is focusing on introducing new SUV models especially in the domestic market. Considering Honda's recent entry into the mid-size SUV market with the Elevate model a few months ago, this strategic move is notable. Earlier, the brand's sales were mainly driven by the Amaze and City sedans.

Mibe emphasized Honda's commitment to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2040 and outlined various milestones to reach this ambitious goal. He recognized the importance of the Indian market and its rapid progress in electrification of both cars and two-wheelers. Honda Cars India President Takuya Tsumura confirmed that the Elevate-based electric vehicle (EV) will be introduced in India as one of the five SUVs to be launched in the country by 2030.

The first all-electric Honda vehicle, a mid-size SUV based on the Elevate, is expected to be introduced within the next three years. Honda discontinued several models including the Brio small hatchback, Jazz premium hatch and WR-V compact SUV due to the need to comply with more stringent emissions standards. As part of the restructuring, the CR-V and Civic were also discontinued shortly after their reintroduction.

Honda has been emphasizing on the Elevate and priced it competitively to compete with popular models like Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hayrider, MG Astor, VW Taigun, Skoda Kushaq and others. The company aims to increase domestic sales by 35% in the second half of the current financial year with the help of Elevate.

Globally, India is Honda's seventh largest market. The company is set to form technical partnerships to accelerate its electrification efforts. While Honda has collaborated with General Motors in overseas markets to develop affordable electric vehicles, these plans have faced setbacks.

Considering the popularity of this segment in the Indian market, it is being speculated that Honda will launch a sub-four-meter SUV in the coming years. Additionally, the existing sedan duo, City and Amaze, are expected to get an update, which will be followed by a new version which is rumored to be introduced in 2024. Considering its popularity, India could be one of the first markets to get this new model.

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