Honda Cars India plant to commence EV retooling in 2024
The Japanese carmaker confirms additional investment is imminent as it readies its first EV for India.
On the sidelines of the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) senior management confirmed that retooling of its plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan for EV production will commence in 2024. The carmaker confirms additional investment is imminent as it readies EV for India.
The brand's first EV for India will be an SUV based on the Honda Elevate, and thus it too will have Tapukara as its global production hub. The as-yet-unnamed electric SUV is currently in development and is expected to go on sale in 2025.
The plant is currently HCIL's only functioning one in India, as operations at its original plant in Greater Noida (pictured above) were shuttered in late 2020. It currently produces, and will continue to produce, the Amaze, City and Elevate, alongside the new EV.
The plant currently still has available capacity and thus can accommodate a new model line, but HCIL President and CEO Takuya Tsumura confirmed that an increase in capacity is definitely on the cards. Going back to a second plant isn't ruled out either, but if at all, that would be much further down the line, based on volumes.
This increase in production capacity is not only to serve domestic sales but also exports of the Elevate (which have yet to begin) and the EV, after it goes into production. In fact, like the Elevate, the EV is expected to be a global model that will be exported to many more markets than the City and Amaze are.
While Honda hasn't announced a specific amount, it has confirmed an additional investment has been earmarked for this new EV and future EVs. "As we've mentioned before we are going to launch a BEV within the next three years so naturally there will be some amount of investment for that," Tsumura said, adding: "And our plan is to keep pushing forward our electrification."
As for the shorter term, Tsumura says the plan is to grow by 35 percent by the end of the year, and that there will be at least one new launch each year. The brand has also confirmed it will be bringing in some global models as low-volume CBU imports, although which models exactly, is still under evaluation.
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