According to a few sources aware of the situation currently engulfing Honda Cars India (HCIL), the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary of the Japanese automaker Honda, it would stop producing and selling its premium hatchback Jazz, WR-V and the fourth generation City in the Indian market. After discontinuing the three products, Honda Cars India will be left with only three more vehicles in its lineup and a very small market share in the nation. The left models in the Indian portfolio of the company will be the City Hybrid, the fifth generation City, and the entry-level sedan Amaze.
Reports have claimed that the company will discontinue the production of the Jazz after October 2022 and the crossover WR-V after March 2023. By December 2022, the automaker will likewise cease domestic manufacture and sales of the 4th Generation Honda City. The sedan’s fifth generation will still be offered on the market, nevertheless. WR-V and Jazz were two of Honda’s best-selling vehicles and after discontinuing them, a bigger portion of the Indian vehicle market will become available for other OEMs to capture.
Earlier in December of 2020, the Japanese manufacturer battled to have a stronger presence in the Indian market but due to the lack of new models and the shifting market trend of people preferring SUVs the company closed its Greater Noida facility and ceased manufacture of the Civic and CR-V. However, in the meantime, a few reports have also emerged that the three models are being phased out as the company gets ready to introduce more SUV models to the market.
Rumours have suggested that the automaker will begin producing a new compact SUV with the codename 3US/31XA in August 2023, with a first-year volume target of roughly 40,000 vehicles. As due to a lack of SUVs in its lineup, its market share has decreased to just 3%. A Honda Cars India official responded to inquiries about the matter by saying, “The firm cannot comment on the market rumours.”
Speaking on the report Kaushik Madhvan, Independent Consultant, Mobility, Frost & Sullivan, said, “If the decision to exit the hatchback segment is confirmed, I personally feel Honda is missing a trick by not playing in the most affordable segment in India. For many customers in this segment, Honda is an aspirational brand. This will mean, for a first-time buyer with a limited budget, Honda will no longer be in the consideration set”
In other Honda news, the company earlier last month launched the newest iteration of its highly popular crossover SUV HR-V in Malaysia. The new HR-V has been launched for the 2022 model year. Honda is offering the new HR-V with multiple drivetrain options that include a variety of internal combustion engines and a hybrid system for the top-of-the-line 1.5L eHEV RS model. This hybrid system will be the same that comes in the new Honda City eHEV hybrid in India. As for the updates of the 2022 HR-V, the new SUV ditches the old exterior styling for a newer and more modern and futuristic-looking design.