Honda Siel Motors Limited are one of the most successful car manufacturers in India. This despite pricing their cars at a sizeable premium than the others. All this attributed to their never say die attitude cars, be it anywhere in the world. Their cars epitomize reliability and cutting edge design at its best. It is rare to see a broken down Honda car by the road side. They are also the most fuel efficient in their class as well as the ones with most thrilling driving experience. They also have bullet proof engines. However all this hasn’t made Honda Siel Motors Limited as a volumes player in the fast emerging Indian market. The reason behind this is quite clear. They don’t have a small car in their portfolio and plus the lack of a diesel engine option also pinches.
The horizon would change soon for the Indian market as Honda Siel Motors Limited are going to introduce a small car for the Indian market and are naming it as the Honda Brio. Now, we know that the smallest car that Honda Siel Motors Limited has in India is the Honda Jazz, which isn’t small by any proportions. It has a length equivalent to the Honda City. The Honda Brio would be showcased at the 2010 Bangkok Motor Show. It would be one of Honda Siel Motors Limited’s most significant launch in the Indian market and this would be after that of the Honda City. The car’s code name is 2CV. It would be exactly as the concept car that Honda displayed at the Paris Motor Show. It is rumored that in India, the Honda Brio would be built in the company’s manufacturing facility in Noida or at Alwar in Rajasthan. It would have about 70% localization and only some components of the engine would be imported from Japan.
The New Honda Brio would be powered by the same unit as found on the Honda Jazz, albeit with a cylinder less. It would be a 3 cylinder engine which may or may not feature Honda’s i-Vtec technology. It would be down sized from the Honda Jazz’s capacity of 1200 cc to about 900 cc. It would make about 70 Bhp of power. Like the others of its ilk, it would have air bags and ABS as standard equipment however as seen in previous generation City, we expect Honda Siel Motors Limited to skimp on this piece of necessity as well. It may be offered as an option.
At launch there would be 2 engine options. The aforementioned one and the second would be a straight lift from the Honda Jazz’s 1.2 liter engine. It would be in the same state of tune as the latter. This engine, as we all know is quite fuel efficient as well as reasonably powered. The third engine would make its debut only by the end of 2011 and it would be the most awaited one as well. It would be a 1.5 liter diesel engine, Honda Siel Motors Limited’s first one in the country . This engine would eventually find its way under the hood of the Honda City as well as Honda Jazz. Whether it would come in the Honda Civic is unknown.
Now pricing has been always Honda Siel Motors Limited’s Achilles heel in India. They however can command a premium over others simply on the virtues of brand name. See for example the fact that Honda City’s are literally flying off shelfs given the Rs.1.5 lakhs that they command over a similarly specced Volkswagen Vento. The Honda Brio in India is expected to be priced at around Rs. 5 lakhs for the base variant and moving upwards to Rs.7 lakhs for the diesel variant. That is a lot of money for a Maruti Ritz sized car. Well, can Honda Siel Motors Limited break the ice in the small car market with this offering remains to be seen. Bookings are expected to start beginning February 2011.