Honda Cars India to launch five SUVs by 2030, to bring in Elevate EV in three years

Takuya Tsumura, President and CEO of Honda Cars India said that Elevate is the first of five SUVs the company plans to launch in India by the end of the decade.

By Ketan Thakkar and Mayank Dhingra calendar 06 Jun 2023 Views icon15842 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

As part of its long-term vision for India, Honda Cars India plans to launch 5 SUVs in the country by 2030. 

Speaking to media at the global premiere of Honda Elevate, Takuya Tsumura, President and CEO of Honda Cars India said, Elevate is the first of five SUVs the company plans to launch by the end of the decade. The company will start taking bookings for Elevate from July and the vehicle will be launched in the upcoming festive season.

"We have planned a very robust product strategy for India. We plan to have five SUVs by 2030. While India will be a lead market for Elevate, it will also be the key exports hub for the model in the future. Honda Cars India is aligned to the global direction and we plan to bring the electric version of Elevate to the market in the next three years," added Tsumura.

Elevate is the first SUV among 5 new premium SUVs planned to be launched by Honda in India by 2030. A Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) based on this SUV is planned to be launched in India within 3 years in line with Honda’s global vision towards carbon neutrality.

Earlier in the year, Honda Cars India had shared its plan to introduce one new model every year in the Indian market, starting 2024. This will include hybrids and EVs as well.

Honda's entry in the mid-SUV segment happens at a time when SUVs have emerged as the biggest segment in the fast-growing Indian passenger vehicle market accounting for over 40 percent of the overall market.

The Elevate features a 1.5-litre petrol engine and gets a full range of Active and Passive Safety technologies including Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) of Honda Sensing and will be positioned in the mid-size SUV market (above four metres) which has become the second biggest sub-segment in the market. The model will take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.  

Even though the overall passenger vehicle market is set to slow down to a single digit growth, the SUV segment is still expected to grow by over 10 percent in the current financial year. Approximately 1.9 million SUVs are likely to be sold in FY24 which is an overall contribution of about 45-46 percent, say industry experts.

The company says Elevate will be its third key pillar for the Indian market and it will help build its presence in the fast-growing segment.

"Despite significant challenges, India has proven its strength in the world market. It continues to remain the fastest growing market in the world. We have a huge popularity in the sedan segment, we hope to translate that into the SUV segment. Elevate is the perfect urban SUV," added Tsumura.

Toshio Kuwahara, Head of Regional Unit (Asia & Oceania), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and President and CEO, Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said, “India being the world’s third largest automotive market is extremely important for Honda. As the first country to launch a global model, today’s World Premiere of the all-new Elevate is a stamp of commitment of Honda’s plans and aspirations for the country." 

India will be the lead market for the launch of new Elevate and the country will be a key exports hub for the model in the future. 

Kuwahara believes that the exports from India to several regions across the globe are growing continuously every year. With high level of quality standards to deliver products that exceed expectations of both local and worldwide customers, India has become one of the most important export hubs for Honda. 

Honda Motor Company has set itself a target of selling two-third of its vehicles with an electrified powertrain and the India strategy too is getting aligned with the global plan, added the top management. 

All vehicles sold in India will be zero emission by 2040, Honda Cars India said, they will either be battery electric vehicle or fuel cell electric vehicle.

"Moving forward to 2050, Honda strives to realize carbon neutrality and zero traffic collision fatalities involving our motorcycles and automobiles. To achieve this target, Honda aims to increase the sales ratio of Battery Electric Vehicles and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles sales to 100% globally by 2040, including India. For safety, we continue enhancing advanced technologies including the expansion of Honda SENSING around the world and strengthening our safety education to reduce traffic accidents,” added Kuwahara.

To create space for the new SUVS, the company has ramped up its production at its plant in Tapukara, Rajasthan, with the daily manufacturing capacity increased to 660 vehicles per day from 540 vehicles per day in Q12023.

From a branding and retail perspective, HCIL has invested Rs 260 crore in the new customer interface (CI) of its showrooms, which is being rolled out along with the new SUV launch. In terms of the footprint, presently HCIL has about 326 outlets across 238 cities in the country, and it says there is a strong traction for the brand’s existing offerings — Amaze and City — in the smaller cities. The company claims the Tier 3 cities account for about 30 percent of its overall sales.

To reinforce the brand Honda in the country, the company is yet again exploring the potential of bringing in premium models through the CBU as well as CKD route to India.

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