While the word is out for quite some time that Japanese carmaker Honda is working on a new compact SUV for the Indian market, more details have now surfaced on the new ‘2UA-based’ model being jointly developed between Honda Cars India and Honda Prospect Motor Indonesia.
After the launch of the second-generation Honda Amaze compact sedan (codenamed 2UA) in India at Auto Expo 2018, our sister publication Autocar India first broke the news of a potential crossover on the said platform being in the works as well.
Given the rather long new model development timelines at the company, it was expected that the Maruti Vitara Brezza rival would be launched sometime in 2021, but sources now confirm to us that the company is mulling an actual launch in calendar year 2022, possibly at the Auto Expo itself.
Shortlisting of suppliers underway
It is also learnt that Honda Cars India is currently in the process of fixing the supplier set for the compact SUV, in order to target high localisation levels right from the start of development.
The current-generation Amaze has a gross localisation level upwards of 90 percent and Honda will need to remain in that territory so as to position the new crossover below the WR-V and entirely replace the pricier Jazz-based crossover, currently on sale in the Indian market.
Interestingly, the launch of the WR-V in March 2017 saw Honda Cars India’s UV market share get a booster shot with its share straightaway doubling from 3.54 percent in FY2017 (when it only had the bigger BR-V, Mobilio and the CR-V on offer) to 6.50 percent at the end of FY2018. Honda’s UV sales grew 122 percent from being pegged at 26,969 units between April 2016 and March 2017, to 59,917 units between April 2017 and March 2018.
However, come FY2019 and the performance of the WR-V slowed down considerably again with sales declining to 33,010 units from its rather short-lived speedy run of 48,023 units it had in its maiden year. Tough competition in the form of the Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport along the newly launched Hyundai Venue and the Mahindra XUV300 have made a big dent in the Honda WR-V’s sales, which skips an automatic transmission option – a popular consumer demand in the market today.
BS VI engine power
Since the Amaze is going to spawn the upcoming 2UA-based crossover, it can be inferred that the model will see being introduced with a 1.2-litre four-cylinder 90bhp petrol motor and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder 100bhp Earth Dreams series diesel from the current crop of engines in Honda Cars India’s line-up, but in their BS VI form.
While the option of a 5-speed MT or a CVT on both engine offerings is highly likely too, however, with diesels slowly taking a backseat, it could be speculated that the diesel-CVT which has only ever been globally used by Honda in the Amaze in India, could be given a miss.
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