New Delhi: Honda Siel Cars India, the Indian subsidiary of Japanese carmaker, Honda Motor Co., plans to launch an advanced version of its premium sedan 'Accord V6' in the Indian market next week. The car may be priced at around Rs25 lakh.
Honda Siel Cars India president and CEO Masahiro Takedahawa said, "We are ready with our new Accord V6 and it will be launched by next week."
The new Accord V6 would come with a 3.5-litre engine, generating 280 brake horse power (bhp), against the current Accord, which comes with a 2.4-litre engine generating 180 bhp with a price starting at Rs16.72 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The company has already announced plans to launch its premium hatchback 'Jazz' in the country by mid-2009. The car would have a 1.2 litre engine, specifically meant for Indian regulations to avail 12.5 per cent tax rebate.
The economic slowdown in the country has led the company to put on hold the opening of its second manufacturing facility in Tapukara in the Alwar district of Rajasthan and also cut production by over 45 per cent from the beginning of the year. The company has reduced the production of its Greater Noida plant from 400 cars to 200 cars a day on a single shift basis.
Takedagawa said the Indian market was witnessing a downturn and the company would commission the Rajasthan plant once market conditions improve. As of now, it has been put off indefinitely.
On an optimistic note Honda Siel Cars India sold 5,773 cars in January 2009 as against 3,667 units sold in December 2008, a growth of 57.4 per cent. In February 2009, the company sold 5,579 units an increase of 47.83 per cent against 3,774 units sold in February 2008.
The sales of the New Honda City, deliveries of which started in November 2008, stood at stood at 12,233 units, a growth of 17.6 per cent during the November 2008 - January 2009 period. This is in comparison to 10,402 units sold in the corresponding period in 2007-08.
The company said its excellent sales record in February was on the back of the new Honda City, which sold 4,739 units in the month. The company also sold 530 units of the Civic, 107 units of the CR-V and 203 units of the Accord last month.
The company is targeting to close this financial year with sales of 55,000 units, just half of its production capacity of one lakh at greater Noida. The all-new City is expected to contribute 45,000 units in sales of this. The company has reportedly reduced production to 200 cars a day in a single shift since the beginning of this year from its installed capacity of 380 units a day over two shifts.
However, in the last three months sales have grown over 10 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. The company's total production schedule for next fiscal is around 70,000 units, which includes its upcoming model-Jazz.