Honda seems to be having second thoughts about bringing the Vezel to India. The Jazz-based SUV was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2013 and it seemed Honda India had plans to launch the car in compact crossover segment. But Honda now claims that introducing the car in India will require re-engineering many components, which in turn will lead to an increase in the price of the Vezel, making it unviable.
Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, managing officer, Asia and Oceania said, “My impression is that the Vezel is a little expensive to fit into this vacuum. It has technologically advanced features and the localisation of these would take much more effort and expense, making it difficult for us at this moment.”
Instead, Honda now has plans to develop an entirely new compact SUV by stretching the Brio’s versatile platform. Developed for emerging markets like India, the platform already accommodates a hatchback-the Brio, a sedan-the Amaze and an MPV- the Mobilio. Equipped with the 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.2-litre petrol from the Amaze, the sub-four-metre SUV will go up against the likes of Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano.
“The compact SUV segment in India is growing rapidly and now that we have a suitable diesel engine, we would want to participate in it,” said a senior Honda official in Japan. The car can be expected to be launched by 2016.
Amaze can be said to have done ‘quite well’ in Indian market. Introducing a diesel in its line-up was a late, but smart move by Honda. Other cars from Honda’s stable haven’t been doing so well and the Japanese carmaker hopes to change this by introducing the eagerly-anticipated City diesel early next year.
Source : Autocar