Honda Amaze VX (O) And Brio Variant Launched

Honda’s fresh lineup for the 2015 model plate includes new variants for Amaze and Brio.

The compact sedan Amaze which has garnered enough fanfare since its initial days is introduced in one more trim: VX (O). The top-end package under this hat now gets AVN treatment. None of them from petrol and diesel are disappointed either.

On the other side, that Brio hatchback now includes a VX trim for manual and automatic transmission both. Interior remains the major contributor for seeing this new variant in the lineup. Instead of dual-tone themed cabin it is refreshed with all-black interiors and AVN package as a topping on the cake.

Honda Amaze VX (O) And Brio Variant Launched

For the 2015 make, both the models get a slightly changed speedometer, and folding wing mirror.

In fact, for the SX and higher variant of Amaze carmaker has added wing mirror and rear defogger.

To shed information about the AVN package, it includes a 15.7-cm touchscreen loaded with maps and voice-assisted navigation interface. Bluetooth music streaming and telephony, DVD/CD, iPod, USB, aux, connectivity and MP3 playback are also featured in it. Must not forget, the carmaker has even taken care of the AM/FM radio.

Even the company has announced of officially coming out with the CNG powered version of the Amaze.

Prices of Brio VX and Amaze VX (O):

Honda Brio VX Petrol Manual: Rs 5.99 lakh ex-showroom Delhi

Honda Brio VX Petrol Automatic: Rs 6.78 lakh ex-showroom Delhi

Honda Amaze VX (O) Petrol Manual: Rs. 7.32 lakh ex-showroom Delhi

Honda Amaze VX (O) Diesel Manual: Rs 8.20 lakh ex-showroom Delhi

Honda Brio-based Compact SUV for India Rendered

Honda compact SUV is the most appreciated term in the Indian automotive fraternity. And to make it sound more lucrative, a magazine from Japan revealed the beans that carmaker is planning a compact SUV based on Brio platform designated for the Indian market.

However, the Honda Vezel, which was launched in number of countries months back, was anticipated for India too, but due to its all new structure and the other technical gimmicks that may have caught the Honda in a jiff for years to roll it out, had compelled it to resort with a new product that could be compatibly made on the platforms of its existing cars here.

Honda Brio-based Compact SUV for India Rendered
What you can see here is the rendering of same. The engine of Brio and the recent 1.5L EarthDreams diesel shall also be used on it, in order to rival the likes of Ford EcoSport and such.

Well, what is making to rethink is, was this the type of response the audiences in India are expecting from Honda? However, shall not comment, must say anything only after the final product is launched.

Feel free to comment whether this Honda compact SUV is feasible for India launch or not.

Honda Brio Limited Edition Unveiled at Bangkok Motor Show 2014

Bangkok Motor Show 2014 is spilling new beans. The last one to concord our blog was the Pajero automatic, now it’s the Honda Brio Limited Edition which is a cosmetic makeover of the existing Brio.

However, the limited edition hatchback of Honda sports multi-colored body graphics on the white base. The sharpness of graphics is making to look a size bigger.

Hopefully, under the hoods, it’s the same 1.2-liter four-cylinder i-VTEC (petrol) with 90 PS and 110 Nm of torque, relatively 2PS more than the Indian version. Transmission option in Thailand includes a 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic gearbox, while in India the Japanese carmaker has made available 5-speed automatic and 5-speed manual.

Honda Brio Limited edition Bangkok

To an addition, on the cosmetic front, the interiors receive a touchscreen entertainment system which doubles up as a navigation system on the go. At rear, the wiper is lent with a washer and an applique on the glass bootlid, which is unavailable in India. The theme selected for the cabin is black, while in our local version it’s the black & beige.

Image Courtesy: Indian Autos Blog

Honda Brio Exclusive edition launched for Rs. 4.92 lakh ex showroom Delhi

Once again, Honda made to the headlines for the upcoming festive season.

This time on the pod of exclusivity is Honda Brio ‘Exclusive’ edition, which is launched at a price of Rs. 4,92,000 ex-showroom Delhi. It means Exclusive is pricier by Rs. 31,000 than regular S (MT).

The Brio Exclusive edition is pinned on the base of S (MT) variant. And this new vehicle is concluded off for the festive season with the following tweaks:

  • A Black interior theme
  • New premium upholstery and matching instrument panel, roof linings
  • Tailgate Spoiler
  • ‘Exclusive’ badges

Honda Brio Exclusive edition

To an addition, the Brio Exclusive also gets an additional accessory kit which includes:

  • Door Visor
  • Exhaust Pipe Finisher
  • Back-Up Sensor
  • Illuminated Side-Step Garnish

Honda Brio Exclusive Edition comes in Three Color Options:

  1. Taffeta White
  2. Alabaster Silver
  3. Rally Red

Honda Brio Exclusive edition Interiors

Honda Brio Exclusive edition is officially launched to commemorate the two years launch of Brio on Indian shores. Hence, total number of Brio that the Indian subsidiary of Honda sold here is 54,095 units. The engine specification of same is termed with 1.2L i-VTEC ongoing petrol variants.

Honda Brio S (MT) Specifications-

  • EngineDisplacement (CC): 1198 CC
  • No Of Cylinders: 4
  • No Of Gears: 5 Forward & 1 Reverse
  • Power (PS): 88 PS
  • Torque (NM): 109 NM
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Kerb Weight: 940 Kgs
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Drive Type: FWD
  • Brakes Front: Disc
  • Brakes Rear: Drum
  • Steering Type: Collpasible Electric Power Steering
  • Minimum Turning Radius: 4.5 Mtr
  • Suspension Front: Mcpherson
  • Suspension Rear: Torsion Beam Axle
  • Tyre Size: 175 / 65 R 14
  • Wheel Size: 14 Inches

Honda Brio Exclusive edition launched

Honda Brio based MPV Mobilio spy shots appeared for the first time

We reported last week that Honda unveiled Brio based MPV in Indonesia, which is known as Mobilio. the same now spied testing for the first time in that country.

Hence, the launch of Mobilio is expected to happen by end of this year in Indonesia, where India is expected to receive it in 2014.

Coming to the spy-shots we learnt, the test mule was seen wearing conventional silver-colored 10-spoke alloys, unlike than the diamond cut 10-spoke alloys of the Indonesian Motor Show prototype. Lest, all of the styling cues were the same to that of the Motor Show unveiled model. Silver paint job on its body was making it to look a bit conventional, but that’s ok when given the badge of Honda shining brightly under the sun.

Engine specifications of Mobilio is said to be of the 1.5-liter i-VTEC (petrol) borrowed from the Honda City producing 118PS and 144Nm of torque. Indonesia is given an option of a 5-speed manual and a CVT gearbox. To an addition, India is said to also dwell the 1.5-liter diesel powerplant from that of the Amaze to contrast the rising petrol prices and high notched per kilometer running cost.

Honda Mobilio spied Indonesia

Indonesian price for Mobilio is expected to start from 150-180 million Indonesian Rupiah (Rs. 8.41 lakhs to Rs. 10.09 lakhs).

Image Courtesy: Autonetmagz

Production cuts impact the sales of Honda Siel Cars in India

It had been recently reported by us that the impact of the severe floods in Thailand had resulted in Honda Siel Cars India facing huge constraints in getting vehicle parts imported to India from that country. The company’s production in India has taken a hit beginning November 2011, which has now gone on to impact the monthly sales. The production subsidiary for Honda automobile in Thailand, HATC, which has its headquarters in Rojana Industrial Park in the province of Ayutthaya, has suspended production from the 4th of October, as the plant premises has been flooded. This has caused a complete disruption in getting components supplied from the Thailand plant.

All models that are manufactured in India have been affected by the shortage of parts. However, the vehicles that have taken the maximum hit are the Honda City, Honda Jazz and Honda Brio. The Senior Vice President for Marketing and Sales, Honda Siel Cars India, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, said that as the company had announced previously that the floods in Thailand had severely impacted their production in November owing to shortage of parts, the same was also likely to continue in the month of December as well. He regretted on behalf of the company for the inconvenience that Honda customers were facing as a result of these developments and appealed to them for understanding the situation. He also declared that HSCI was fully geared up to ensure that they resumed their full production within the shortest possible time.

As per reports of the company, it had registered 1,982 units of sales in November 2011.

Cheaper and lighter cars is the new mantra for automobile companies

With the recent advent of launches happening in the Indian car industry, manufacturers are turning to lighter and cheaper cars. Proof is the Hyundai Eon, Toyota Liva, Honda Brio and others. Automotive technology has come a long way from the earlier 60s and 70s what now with manufacturers trying and introducing newer technologies in even their entry level models.

Shedding weight is the most important thing in any manufacturer’s mind while designing or even conceptualizing a vehicle. Even SUVs are now going on a weight reduction. A heavier car needs an engine with more output to offset the weight difference while a lighter car with a smaller engine output means cost savings as also use of less metal. The cost of steel and other metals has forced manufacturers to hike the prices of their cars and hence an immediate solution to the same is to reduce the amount of steel used in a car. Classic case can be made of the XUV500 for which Mahindra and Mahindra had to shed flab and make it one of the lightest SUVs in its class. Before the labour unrest, Maruti Suzuki were given some incentives based on every weight reduction to the tune of every gram lost. In this way, Maruti were able to make about Rs 147 crores profit. Carbon fiber is also the new momentum for car manufacturers as it affords the rigidity needed and also at the same time costs less.

Hyundai Eon

Toyota Liva Mahindra XUV500

Cars launched in the month of September 2011

Phew! No sooner were we done with the enormous numbers of cars launched in the month of August 2011, car manufacturers unloaded another dump of cars in the month of September 2011. We have got a list of the car launches which happened in the month of September 2011.

2011 Mercedes C-Class:

The all new Mercedes C-Class is something which many wouldn’t even think of as a new thing. The changes included slight restructuring of the face, addition of some features like daytime running LEDs and a panoramic sun roof as standard. The interiors also received a fillip to keep in line with the external revisions. There were no changes in the configuration of the motors though. The starting price of the petrol variant was Rs 29.79 lakhs while the diesel costs Rs 32.30 lakhs.

2011 Mercedes C-Class

2011 Mahindra Bolero:

Mahindra and Mahindra came out with a new version of their workhorse, the Mahindra Bolero. Not only this, there is a new engine under the hood as well. This one produces 62 Bhp of power and 196 Nm of torque. ARAI certified fuel efficiency is also 15.96 kmpl. The exteriors received a new grille with the likes of a dark grey shade and decals splashed over the sides and also new head lamps. As of now, there is only a 2WD version going around with talks of introducing the 4×4 version later. The asking price for this one is Rs 6.19 lakhs.

2011 Mahindra Bolero

Toyota Etios and Liva diesels:

Toyota also put diesel engines under the hoods of their best sellers, the Etios and Liva and made for a grand launch. Both these cars borrow their powerplants from the bigger Corolla Altis, albeit with some modifications. The 1.4 liter diesel powerplant has been detuned with a fixed geometry turbo and also altogether different gear ratios. The hatchback gets two variants while the sedan gets three. The other common feature between these diesel variants is that they all get ABS, EBD and airbags as standard. The Etios diesel is priced at Rs 6.44 lakhs while the diesel Liva retails for Rs 5.54 lakhs.

Toyota Liva

Mahindra XUV500:

The much awaited Mahindra W201 aka Mahindra XUV500 was launched towards the latter part of the month of September 2011. The bulky Mahindra SUV has got attractive features in the exteriors as also great interiors. A 2.2 liter engine producing 140 Bhp of power and a choice of both auto and manual transmission along with 4×4 configuration is what makes the XUV500 even more charming. The asking price for the Mahindra XUV500 is Rs 10.8 lakhs while the top end model retails for Rs 12.88 lakhs. There are three variants.

Mahindra XUV500

Renault Koleos:

Renault, after launching the Fluence, jumped onto their next big thing, the Renault Koleos SUV. This all new SUV for India gets 17 inch alloy wheels, Bose surround system, split tail gate, cruise control, tray tables behind the front seats and a comprehensive safety package. The same motors as present in the Nissan X-trail can also be found here, in the same state of tune. It also gets a 1 lakh kms or 5 years long anti-rust warranty. It is priced at Rs 22.90 lakhs.

Renault Koleos

2011 Mercedes CLS 350:

The current E-class platform has been stretched to make the CLS 350. It is both longer as also wider than the 2010 Mercedes CLS350. A new corporate face makes its debut in the CLS350 while the interiors reek of a classiness with certain chrome styled elements coming into picture. A 3.5 liter engine powering this one produces 306 Bhp. Asking price of the 2011 Mercedes CLS350 is Rs 67.67 lakhs.

2011 Mercedes CLS 350

Nissan Sunny:

The much talked about Nissan Sunny also saw its launch in the month of September 2011. The Sunny is available in 3 trim levels and has a 1.5 liter petrol engine putting out 98 Bhp of power. The Sunny is a capacious car with sort of good features in its kitty. Its asking price is what rocked the boats of other manufacturers. The starting price of Rs 5.78 lakhs was too good to be believed.

Nissan Sunny

Hyundai Santa Fe automatic:

After receiving a good number of bookings for its Santa Fe SUV, Hyundai have now released an automatic version of this SUV. The power made by the engine remains the same at 197 Ps and a 6 speed auto box collaborates with this engine to put power to all the 4 wheels. Features galore, there are also some added ones from the manual variant of the Santa Fe. The price of the Santa Fe auto is pegged at Rs 24.36 lakhs.

Hyundai Santa Fe automatic

Honda Brio:

Honda’s small and economy class car, the Honda Brio also saw its launch in the month of September 2011. With a smaller wheelbase than the Jazz, this one has got oodles of space and features which some of the other cost effective cars don’t offer. The Brio comes with 4 trim levels and with 6 color options. A 1.2 liter motor powers the Brio and it would produce 88 Bhp of power along with 110 Nm of torque. A 5 speed manual transmission is assigned the cog swapping duties. The asking price is also shocking for a Honda at Rs 3.95 lakhs.

Honda BrioThese were some of the cars launched in the month of September 2011. The month of October 2011 should also see some huge launches and we are sure to update them for you time to time as also collectively next month.

‘Safety next’ policy adopted by Honda on its small car Brio

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.

Safety next policy adopted by Honda on its small car BrioHonda 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.

Honda Siel taking a gamble by introducing Brio and newly priced Jazz

HSCI (Honda Siel Cars India), the Japanese auto makers that had been quite content with their mid segment domination of City sedan along with other SUVs and sedans are now looking into small car segment in hopes of some aggressive growth.

Business Standard reported that even though Honda did have Jazz hatchback in its armoury, the high prices were a constraint, and by reducing the pricing by 1.6 lakhs, they are keeping the momentum of sales up. With good sales in the Jazz hatchbacks and the upcoming launch of Brio any time soon, HSCI (Honda Siel Cars India), are planning to up the production at their Greater Noida unit to around 1 lakh cars yearly claiming to have reached a milestone by doing so. Reports also speculate that HSCI (Honda Siel Cars India) are planning to up the output to around 1.2 lakh cars yearly having the option of using their second facility at Tapukara in Rajasthan in the coming two years.

Jnaneswar Sen, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales of HSCI (Honda Siel Cars India) said that they expected to increase yearly production to one lakh cars by November and December of this year and that they could stretch a further 20% through efficient production. He also said that it would take 3 months more for supply of components from Japan and things would get normalized by then.

The report also mentions Sen further told that HSCI (Honda Siel Cars India) were also planning to produce Brio compact in a large scale and are preparing for its launch next month. Supply of components was hampered due to the recent quakes in Japan that hindered their production, but things were stabilizing now. There has been a lot of demand for Honda Jazz which has risen to 10 folds now, but components were not reaching them on time. They were limited to only producing 500 cars per month now, so until they did expand production, they are expecting a wait period for Jazz. They do expect to sell around 1000 cars next year. The report also stated that one of the factors affecting HSCI’s sales was due to non-availability of diesel models. The demand for diesel cars are up due to hike in interest rates and petrol costs making buyers go for diesel cars and eventually petrol cars taking a slump for some time now. The prices of diesel cars being little cheaper has also affected them. Car makers such as Maruti Suzuki, Volkswagen and GM (General Motors) have reacted sharply by introducing newer diesel variants and taken away Honda Siel’s market shares across the sector.