Honda Motors has planned to develop a diesel motor for India, through which India is expected to emerge as a center for compact diesel cars imported globally. From 2012-13 Union budget, there is no rise in excise duty on diesel cars, Honda Motor Siel India is set to launch a diesel variant for the local market. According to reports, the Japanese automaker has already started developing diesel motors prototypes of capacity 1.4-litre to 1.5-litre that will be housed in compact cars, and these are developed in the R&D department of Honda, located in Tochigi. Jnaneswar Sen, Honda India’s senior VP, Sales and Marketing, announced that the Japanese giant is presently developing a small diesel motor at its R&D department. However, the engine is in its premature development stages and it will not be introduced anytime in current calendar.
India being the hub of global diesel engines, HMSI will first test the diesel engine for compact cars in Indian market before setting up a plant here for international markets. We had previously brought you the news of Honda powering its hatch lineup- Jazz and Brio by diesel engines. Honda is targeting 100,000 units of diesel cars, which includes export units, before setting up a local plant for diesel engines, while its current capacity is 1.2 lac diesel cars. Honda unveiled its 1.6-litre diesel engine for powering the new Civic at Tokyo Motor Show. This new Honda Civic is developed in its engine manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK and is expected to hit the European markets soon. Whereas the Accord and Honda CR-V get a 2.2 liter diesel engine.
Honda further announced that though there can be beatdown versions of the 2.2-litre diesel motors for better fuel efficiency, but with only a few Accord and CR-V models running on Indian roads, the beatdown is not justified. Moreover, to meet the European norms, Honda had to develop engine with lower Sulphur emissions, while the Indian variant has higher Sulphur emission figure. With the German rival Volkswagen providing diesel options to the customers, Honda is facing tough competition, and though it has 15 years of experience in Indian market, shifting to diesel variant is the only way to survive the competition. It currently has 2 percent share in the Indian market.