‘The BR-V can capture customers in its segment as well as attract buyers from other segments.’

The launch of the new BR-V marks Honda’s entry into the popular small SUV and premium crossover segment in India. President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno spoke to Shobha Mathur on the sidelines of the launch.

Shobha Mathur By Shobha Mathur calendar 05 May 2016 Views icon5865 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
‘The BR-V can capture customers in its segment as well as attract buyers from other segments.’

The launch of the new BR-V marks Honda’s entry into the popular small SUV and premium crossover segment in India. President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno spoke to Shobha Mathur on the sidelines of the launch.

What are your expectations from the just-launched BR-V?

This is the first model with which we enter into the compact SUV market. The BR-V has a lot of SUV characteristics as well as high utility value. So I hope this new model can capture customers in this segment as well as attract a broad range of customers from other segments too.

You have recently taken over the India operations. What are your priorities for stabilising Honda’s sales since the carmaker has been experiencing many ups and downs? What is your sales target for 2016-17?

India is quite a large market. It is also a dynamic one and changes quickly. Customer demand shifts quickly, depending upon market situations, economic situations, petrol price and/or government policies. Therefore, it is most important for us to have flexibility over sales and production operations so that we can speedily adjust ourselves to the demand.

How many new models will Honda Cars India rollout this financial year?

The Accord Hybrid is coming in this financial year and we are also planning to have some new models, maybe in the compact segment.

I understand Honda is developing a new car platform from which the new Brio, Amaze and Mobilio will be developed in Thailand?

Yes, for the next Brio series; it is a global model and not exclusively for India. Our R&D is developing some new platforms and in that case it is shared with India also. The platform is developed mainly in Thailand but in collaboration with Japan and India. 

Honda was expanding production capacity at its Tapukara plant which was to be completed by mid-June this year. What is the status on that?

We have already expanded the capacity of the factory and are ready to expand production if the market demands. We are monitoring demand as the current situation is a little shaky and we will decide in which months we should start production.

What about plans to set up a manufacturing facility in Gujarat?

We have just expanded the factory in Tapukara. So first we would like to concentrate on maximising the production of these two factories including Greater Noida.

Honda entered the diesel market late in India. Now the market is shifting more towards petrol. How is Honda placed in this scenario?

Fortunately, most of our main models have both petrol and diesel options and we have the flexibility to produce these models. Thus, we will try to meet the market shift and catch up on the challenge. 

Also read: 5 things you need to know about the Honda BR-V

RELATED ARTICLES
‘Hard to be profitable in India, but the country will play a strategic global role’

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar20 Apr 2024

Ashwani Muppasani, COO of Stellantis — India and Asia Pacific spoke about the Jeep and Citroen brands, plans for the Ind...

‘We believe there will be demand for ICE way beyond 2050’: Arnd Franz, Chairman and CEO, Mahle Group

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar20 Apr 2024

Arnd Franz, CEO of Mahle Group, is optimistic about the company’s expansion in the country — especially with ICE vehicle...

BRANDED CONTENT: 'We aspire to be among the leading sensors and electro-mechanical products manufacturer'

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar09 Apr 2024

P. Parthasarathy, Founder & Managing Director, Rotary Electronics Pvt Ltd shares the company's commitment and vision to ...