Kolkata: Tata Motor's Nano will have another competititor. Apart from Bajaj Auto and Renault-Nissan, both of whom have announced plans to make small cars, Honda Siel Cars India, a joint venture between Japan's Honda Motor Company and Siddharth Sriram Group company Siel, has announced plans to launch a second small car in India.
The small car would be placed in the B or B+ segment and would have a sub-one litre engine. It would be rolled out of the company's Rajasthan facility in three years. Currently Honda cars fitted with 660cc engines under its K-series are sold only in Japan.
Honda Siel officials said the sub one litre car model will be specifically for Indian roads.
The company's small car plant in Rajasthan has already started the first phase of production where vehicle parts are being manufactured. In the second phase, the plant will start vehicle production during 2009, the officials said. The company plans to make an investment of Rs 1,000 crore at its Rajashthan plant. The initial capacity would be 60,000 units per annum, which would be expanded up to two lakh units per annum.
The company also plans to launch the premium hatchback Jazz, with an engine capacity of 1200cc in India by mid 2009.
The Jazz was unveiled by M. Takedagawa, president and CEO, Honda Siel Cars India early this year.
The Jazz will come with a completely new design, new engine, spacious cabin and will have various active and passive safety features.
Senior officials said the Jazz will be produced from the company's Noida factory which has a capacity to manufacture 1-lakh units. The unit in Rajasthan will initially have a capacity to manufacture 60,000 units that can be scaled up to 2 lakh with requisite investment.
The company recently launched the all-new City. The car comes equipped with a 1.5L, 4 cylinder new generation i-VTEC engine that delivers class leading power of 118PS and also ensures good fuel economy.
Honda Siel Cars aims to produce and sell more than 150,000 units of automobiles in India by the end of 2010.
(Also see: Honda to launch two small cars in four years)