The Amaze sedan, which kicked off Honda’s tryst with the diesel engine for the first time in the Indian market, is set for a transformation.
Sources in the know have told Autocar Professional that a next-generation Amaze (not a face-lift) is under development in Japan and would be seeing major changes in terms of features both in the exterior and interior of the car. A number of safety features would also be added in line with the mandatory safety norms coming into effect in the automotive industry by 2019-20.
The carmaker has already indicated its increased focus on safety by announcing plans to have dual airbags as standard fitment by April 2017 in all new and existing models. Katsushi Inoue, president and CEO, had elaborated on this at the launch of the face-lifted Amaze earlier this month: “Vehicle safety is a top priority for us at Honda. All Honda cars sold in India have the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure which ensures structural rigidity and integrity of the body shell of the car, in case of collision.”
It is understood that commercial production for the next-generation Amaze for the India market will commence in June 2018 with Honda Cars India estimating production volumes at around 105,000 per annum.
The Amaze, which was launched in India in April 2013, has until now sold a total of 196,032 units, with around 54% of them being diesel engine variants. In February 2016, the sedan saw total sales of 4,069 units compared to earlier average sales of around 5,500-6,500 units a month. The carmaker attributes this slowing down of sales to the phasing out of the old Amaze sedan that was first launched in April 2013.
On March 3, 2016, the company launched its face-lifted Amaze, almost three years after the original model hit the Indian market powered by Honda's 1.5-litre Earth Dreams technology diesel engine which delivered 25.8kpl and made the car one of the most fuel efficient diesel cars in India.
Pricing for the face-lifted Amaze, which is available in six petrol variants and four diesel variants, starts from Rs 529,900 and goes up to Rs 819,900 (ex-showroom New Delhi). Honda Cars India had discontinued production of the old Amaze for some months now in view of the face-lifted model hitting the market and was phasing out existing inventory.
The face-lifted Amaze will be manufactured at the Greater Noida plant while the earlier Amaze was produced at both the Greater Noida and Tapukara plants. The City too is made at both the plants while the new Jazz is produced at Tapukara. The other Honda passenger car models are produced at the older Greater Noida production unit.
Once the capacity expansion project at the Tapukara facility is completed by June 2016, the company will have more flexibility to raise capacities of its frontrunner models. The BR-V crossover utility vehicle, which is slated for rollout in April, will require additional capacity.