Auto Expo: Honda unveils Mobilio, Jazz

Bullish on India despite the ongoing slowdown, Japanese auto major Honda today said it would launch two models in the country during the next fiscal.

Honda Cars India Ltd unveiled its mid size multi-purpose vehicle 'Honda Mobilio' and the all-new third generation 'Honda Jazz'.

"India is one of the most important markets for global Honda," Honda Motor Japan President and CEO Takanobu Ito told reporters here at the 12th Auto Expo.

"We have set a challenging sales target of reaching 300,000 units annually by FY'17 in India, and we are committed to support this expansion of Honda business by introducing new products and technologies that fit the needs of our Indian customers," he added.

Honda Mobilio was developed exclusively for the Asian markets, and the Honda Jazz would revolutionise the premium hatchback segment in India, Takanobu said.

The company did not disclose the price of these two models.

"Both the cars will be launched in the Indian market during 2014-15," he added.

Talking about the emerging markets including India, he said: "In any of the emerging markets, there is a problem of currency fluctuation...But India will be a robust market for our two wheelers. Four wheelers are also doing well. Indian market is very big."

About growth in the two-wheeler segment, President & CEO, Honda Motorcycle, Keita Muramatsu said that the company is working on its fourth manufacturing plant in Gujarat.

HMSI will invest about Rs 1,100 crore to set up its fourth facility in Ahmedabad for manufacturing scooters. The company, which has three facilities in Haryana, Rajasthan and Karnataka, expects the new plant to be operational by second half of 2015-16.

On the slowdown in the market, Honda Cars India President and CEO Hironori Kanayama said the company is doing well and will further pick up in due course.

"Most of our growth comes from emerging markets including India...We are very committed to India," Hironori said, adding that the company's "pricing will be very attractive".

About the company's market share, Takanobu said: "It is pretty well in india...But we have to work more."

He said the number of dealers is growing by about 35 per cent and the company aims to increase it to 230 outlets in 150 cities by march 2015. It has 161 facilities in 102 cities.

The company also unveiled the 'Honda Vision XS-1', which is a concept utility vehicle. "This is the proposal for next generation vehicle."

The company also exhibited 'NSX Concept', the next generation super sports cars and 'Accord Hybrid'. For better acceleration, the Hybrid drive uses the gasoline engine to generate electricity and drive motor to propel the vehicle.

HCIL has two manufacturing facilities at Greater Noida and Tapukara, Rajasthan.

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