Honda Elevate sells 30,365 units in India since launch, exports take off

Launched last September, new midsize SUV is already Honda Cars India’s second best-selling product after the Amaze sedan; over 6,800 Elevates rebadged as WR-V for the Japanese market have also been exported.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 13 Mar 2024 Views icon16478 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The Honda Elevate midsize SUV has brought Honda Cars India 'back in the game', particularly in the booming SUV segment where it was missing on the action big time. As per the latest wholesales data released by SIAM, a total of 30,365 units have been dispatched to company showrooms in India. Built on Honda’s Global Small Car platform, the Elevate is benefiting from the rising demand in India for midsize SUVs. 

Launched on September 4, 2023, at a starting price of Rs 11 lakh through to Rs 15.99 lakh for the top-end variant, the Honda Elevate currently the Japanese carmaker’s second-best-selling model and accounts for 38% of Honda Cars India’s total passenger vehicle sales of 79,513 units, which includes the Amaze (33,339 units) and the City (15,809 units) sedans.

At 30,365 units, the Elevate is Honda Cars India's second-best-selling model in the current fiscal after the Amaze. Also, 6,809 WR-Vs have been shipped to Japan. 

The Elevate has given Honda Cars India a utility vehicle market share of 1.32% in the April 2023-February 2024 period compared to 0.27% a year ago (April 2022-February 2023: 4,941 UVs).

What is creditable is that the Honda Elevate is part of a hotly contested segment where it rivals India’s best-selling midsize SUV, the Hyundai Creta, Maruti Grand Vitara, Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, Kia Seltos, MG Astor, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq and the Citroen C3 Aircross.

Till end-February 2024, a total of 42,923 Honda Elevates have rolled out of the Tapukara plant, both for the domestic market and for export (as the WR-V)

Sold in seven variants, the Honda Elevate is powered by the same 121hp, 145 Nm, 1.5-litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine as in the Honda City, mated with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed CVT automatic transmission. Dimension-wise, the Elevate is 4312mm long, 1790mm wide, 1650mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2650mm. While ground clearance is 220mm, boot space is 458 litres.

On the features front, the Honda Elevate has a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as a seven-inch semi-digital instrument cluster. There is also a lane-watch camera, wireless charging and a rear parking camera. Honda Cars India has given the Honda Sensing ADAS suite to the Elevate with features like a collision mitigation braking system, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, road departure warning and automatic high beam assist. Of its rivals, only the new Kia Seltos and MG Astor have ADAS.

The Elevate is manufactured at HCIL's Tapukara plant in Rajasthan along with the Honda WR-V SUV for Japan (pictured below). 

Honda Japan is to begin sale of the made-in-India WR-V on March 22 and has targeted monthly volumes of 3,000 units, which will help HCIL exports. 

Over 6,800 made-in-India WR-V-badged Elevates exported to Japan  
The Elevate has also given a new charge to Honda Cars India’s export programme. The company has begun exporting the made-in-Tapukara (Rajasthan plant) SUV to Japan, where it has been badged as the ‘WR-V’ or Winsome Runabout Vehicle.

The Elevate for Japan (WR-V), which is powered by the same 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, looks identical to the India model but gets an all-black interior compared to the dual-tone black-and-beige cabin in the India-market Elevate. The made-for-Japan model also gets a different infotainment screen, presumably for country-specific content. 

As per export data published by SIAM, Honda Cars India has exported a total of 6,809 Elevates / WR-Vs to Japan till end-February 2024. Overseas shipments have picked up pace in the past two months (see export data table above) with 6,472 units being exported in January-February 2024.

Honda Motor Co plans to begin sales of the India-made WR-V in Japan from March 22, 2024 and has targeted monthly sales of 3,000 units, which translates into 36,000 units annually. If this monthly target is achieved in Japan, then Honda Cars India could be looking at a sizeable jump in its exports in FY2024 and beyond. The company, which shipped 22,710 units overseas in FY2023, has in the first 11 months of FY2024 exported 30,729 cars and SUVs.

India is the first country to manufacture and sell the Elevate, which has a localisation level of more than 90%, globally. Honda’s export strategy aims to make India as an important export hub for the new model to other parts of the world, catering to the robust demand for SUVs globally.

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