The new India-bound BR-V compact SUV from Honda is expected to be manufactured at the Japanese carmaker’s Tapukara facility in Rajasthan in annual numbers of 36,000 units.
Start of production is slated around April 2016. By then, the capacity expansion programme at the Tapukara facility would also be in its final stages of completion bringing up the plant's total production strength to 180,000 units from the current 120,000 vehicles per annum.
While the Amaze, City and the Jazz are produced at Tapukara, the Brio, Mobilio and the CR-V are made at the company’s older plant in Greater Noida which also has a production capacity of 120,000 vehicles annually.
Meanwhile, the Honda BR-V will be available in both petrol and diesel trims. The compact SUV was exhibited at the Gaikinda Indonesia International Auto Show in August this year and will be rolled out in the Indonesian market before being brought to India.
Sources in the know told Autocar Professional that with the BR-V, Honda Cars India is planning to move to a higher 1.6-litre diesel engine for powering its new crop of vehicles. At present, its City, Amaze, Mobilio and the Jazz models are powered by the 1.5L i-DTEC diesel motor based on the carmaker’s Earth Dreams technology. Now a new 1.6-litre diesel could also be on offer.
Globally, Honda has already developed a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine to power its new CR-V for the European markets. Whether the same engine will be customised for the Indian BR-V is still unclear.
The petrol BR-V though will be fitted with the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine similar to the one equipped for the Indonesian market. The seven-seater will compete with the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and the Ford EcoSport in its segment.
At present, of Honda Cars India's current product portfolio, only the Brio hatchback does not have a diesel motor and the CR-V SUV is powered by a 2-litre and 2.4-litre petrol engine. Honda Cars India maintains that it has sold over 100,000 cars powered by its 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine in the country.
First introduced in India in April 2013 with the Honda Amaze, the advanced 1.5L i-DTEC diesel engine was later introduced in the fourth-generation Honda City in January 2014 and in the mid-size MPV Honda Mobilio in July 2014.
According to the latest September 2015 results released by the carmaker, the Amaze sedan has stolen a lead over the City, notching sales of 6,577 units against the City’s 5,702 units. The new Jazz follows at 4,762 units with Brio at 759 units, the Mobilio at 643 units and the CR-V selling 66 units. Domestic sales have contributed 18,509 units, a growth of 23 percent with exports accounting for an additional 782 units during the month.