Honda Cars is outlining its three year plan for the Indian market. The company is looking to bring in 6 new models (does not include facelifts) to the country and while we wait to find out which cars will be coming, the strategy outlined by the company makes one thing clear that there's a lot coming our way. The company is looking at 2020 to bring in new models and which makes us wonder which cars might make their way here. What we know though is that all the 6 models that will be coming to India will be assembled in India and not manufactured here and majority of the investment will go improving local content in these cars. This detail was confirmed by Yoichiro Ueno, President & CEO, Honda Cars India. What this means is that cars like the new-gen Civic and even the CR-V are all set to make it to India.
Speaking at a press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show, Takahiro Hachigo, President& Representative Director, CEO Honda Motor Co. Ltd said, "Honda has no plans to bring in battery electric vehicles to India yet, but will certainly consider bringing in more hybrid vehicles to India. Of the 6 new models coming to India in the next 3 years, we are considering hybrids too but cannot confirm anything right now. Hybrids are more sensible, more usable and the strategy depends on what customers can use and not what the government dictates."
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Having said that, the company is getting ready to embrace the BSVI norms in India and according to Shinji Aoyama, President & CEO Asian Honda Motor, "Switching to BS VI is inline with the current strategy and there are no real issues there but electricfication strategy from the Government of India is not clear yet"
While India won't get electric cars, Honda, did outline its global strategy for it. According to Takahiro Hachigo, 65 per cent of cars from the Honda stable will have electrification by 2030. 50 per cent of the portfolio will be hybrid, while 15 per cent will be electric and fuel cell. Hachigo went on to state that the development of gasoline engine will not stop because 85 per cent of cars will still have a petrol engine (hybrid included) and Honda will continue to work on petrol engines to make it more efficient. He went on to state that "The development of battery electric vehicles will depend on range, battery charge time and weight. The potential of battery EVs will expand if we crack these areas and it will also depend on the infrastructure."
While India is looking to curb pollution by doing away with the combustion engine and putting pressure on car makers here to come out with solutions by 2030, Honda seems quite content to continue working on the gasoline engine and make it more efficient. But we are glad to know that there are likely to be more hybrids coming our way.