Honda Cars India Limited, a subsidiary of the Japanese car maker Honda Motor Co., has tasted big success with its Amaze entry level sedan in the domestic passenger car market. It was reported that the company witnessed over 22,000 bookings of its Honda Amaze range in less than a month of its launch in the country. A major reason behind the impressive demand for the car among Indian car buyers was the availability of a diesel option. It must be noted that Amaze became the Japanese car maker’s first offering to be available in both petrol and diesel powered variants. Honda has revealed that it would also introduce diesel trim of its City mid-size sedan, along with Brio and Jazz hatchbacks in the domestic passenger car market, over the next few years.
The City mid-size saloon was among the top selling models for Honda Cars India many years in the past, but lately the absence of diesel variants has hurt the company’s sales figures. At present, Honda City competes against Hyundai Verna Fluidic, Volkswagen Vento, Maruti Suzuki SX4, Skoda Rapid, Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala and Ford Fiesta, amongst others in the domestic car market. Apart from the City, all of the aforementioned models are available in both petrol and diesel guises. Verna Fluidic and Vento are the best selling models in the mid-size segment and clearly have an upper hand over the Honda City, owing to the presence of a strong diesel line-up. Therefore, Honda Cars India would have to introduce its City model in diesel powered option, in order to check its flagging sales in the Indian auto market. The City is still selling in decent numbers, but the Japanese auto maker has affirmed that lack of diesel option is hurting sales of the car in the mid-size sedan category.
As per reports, the Honda City diesel is expected to arrive at Indian shores sometime by the end of 2014 calendar year. The car would be powered by the company’s state-of-the-art i-DTEC diesel engines. Currently, a 1.5 litre i-DTEC oil burner is fitted in the Honda Amaze and therefore, the same engine’s a tweaked version for better performance could power the upcoming City diesel model. Further, the company could also incorporate a bigger and more powerful i-DTEC motor in the City. Honda Cars India is yet to divulge any information regarding the technical specifications of the City diesel.
The Honda City has set the benchmark for a petrol powered mid-size sedan in the Indian auto market and its upcoming diesel is expected to continue this trend. The Amaze entry level sedan is already being cited as the company’s new big volume puller in the country, which makes the idea of City diesel an interesting proposition for Honda Cars India. The company would be hoping to reclaim its lost ground in the mid-size sedan segment of domestic passenger car market.