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Honda India weighs local production of CR-V

Topics:  Honda CR-V

Honda India weighs local production of CR-V

Anthony Fontanelle
December 26, 2007

Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. (HSCI) – a joint venture between the Honda Motor Company Ltd., Japan and Siel Ltd., a Siddharth Shriram Group company is weighing the option of locally manufacturing the CR-V. The Honda CR-V is currently directly imported from Japan as a completely built unit and sold in the Indian market.

According to Masahiro Takedagawa, president and CEO of HSCI, “We are studying the possibilities of producing the CR-V locally, which will help up become a far more active player in the growing SUV market.”

At present, the Japanese auto maker is retailing an average of about 300 units of the CR-V every month. And, the vehicle has a landed price of around Rs 20 lakh, of which nearly half is accounted to import duty component.

By the time Honda decided to manufacturer the CR-V in India, the target price for the vehicle will swoop down to Rs 12-14 lakh. That would mean better attraction from the customers.

By fact, the CR-V is the leading player in the top-end SUV segment which include the Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Pajero, Suzuki Vitara and a host of other models. Most of the models are actually imported directly – an advantage that Honda is weighing.

Another point would be the translation into more numbers in local production. HSCI believes that there is potential to increase market share, most especially if the vehicle was able to build a solid brand image for itself in the specific market.

Takedagawa said that the company is extremely bullish on its prospects in the overall automobile market. That is even while the current fiscal has a little to write home regarding issues in the premium car segment.

Honda, more than a maker of Acura CL brake dust shields and premium engines, hopes to close this fiscal with the production of approximately 68,000 units of the City, Civic and Accord.

Previously, HSCI has announced its interest to manufacture more than 150,000 cars by 2010. The company sees the year as the time when annual car production in the country is expected to be in the region of about 2.5 million units.

Takedagawa said that the Honda CR-V will boost the growth of the company for the future. He said, “Honda will strive to redefine the image of the hatchback with this model.”

The Honda CR-V will be produced at the company’s second plant in Rajasthan – which will be commissioned by 2009.

Source:  Amazines.com

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