Honda, Japanese car manufacturer, has eased its trademark safety norms ensuring competitive pricing at the start point of their small car Brio in the very high price sensitive car market in India.
Industry officials told HSCI (Honda Siel Cars India), Honda’s subsidiary in India, might be controlling the pricing of their first ever small car here in India by fielding their entry vehicle without airbags, slightly going off track from their policy globally, which was ‘safety first’ all these years.
Airbags and top quality safety features like body cage and braking system (antilock) were standard for all Honda cars in all their variants and models. This policy might change with the Brio. Airbags would increase the price of the car between Rs. 45,000 and Rs. 60,000.
Industry officials tell with a difference such as this in the entry level it would make it extremely difficult for Brio to compete with cars like GM Beat, Toyota Liva, Maruti Swift and Skoda Fabia.
Honda Siel’s official told that the variant strategy and pricing of the Brio would be announced a bit sooner than its launch, which would be at the end of the month. The official didn’t deny the possibilities of a specifications loss. He emphasized that the company would be launching the Brio at a price less than five lakhs.
Honda’s R&D (Research and Development) are working hard with their purchase department in order to increase localisation of the Brio’s components. Dip of sales due to tough competition from cars like Hyundai and Volkswagen Vento has forced Honda to be cutting down prices of its City sedan nearly by 1.5 lakhs. Honda has also decreased Jazz’s price to 1.5 lakhs too to make its struggling hatchback more competitive.
M. Takedagawa, Former CEO of Honda Siel, told they never made compromises when it came to safety options for all Honda cars. He told safety was truly an option and a trademark at Honda, and the Japanese car manufacturers have stayed very loyal to their policy.
Honda is really proactive when it comes to safety issues in car manufacturing in India and has so far recalled Honda CRV, Honda Accord and Honda City due to some safety issues and technical problems, putting their customers’ concern in their priority list first.
Having known for their top quality technological features and safety in all their vehicles, the cars do have the body cage (G-Con) that does provide more safety at the time of a collision and also features the standard braking system (antilock).
All these years, buyers have indeed been paying high prices for all Honda products due to its top engineering standards and commitment to safety and quality, but due to heavy competition from other manufacturers, Honda might have to change their perspective in the second largest and fastest growing Indian car market.
Analysts have suggested that Honda may have taken this step of safety next policy due to heavier competition from other manufacturers and a decline in sales.
Abdul Majeed, Automotive Practice, tells Honda has been true to its high brand value and that their cars were indeed leaders when it comes to specifications and features. He tells intensified competition would make Honda compete aggressively with sticker labels and cut down the pricing of their cars.