Honda to enter mass market, small car segment with Brio

Honda will be launching Brio, its first small car targeting the mass market, across India later this month.

The new, 1200 cc car is expected to be priced between Rs.4.2 lakh and Rs.4.5 lakh. The Honda Brio will be competing with Maruti's Swift, Hyundai's i10, Ford's Figo, Toyota's Liva and Volkswagen's Polo.

The Japanese auto major had about two years ago launched Jazz, but the small car failed to excite buyers of small cars. Honda has been selling less than 100 units a month.

The company did five years of research on the Indian market before planning to launch the Brio. Unlike other Honda models - including City, Civic, Accord, Jazz and CR-V - the Japanese company will be targeting smaller cities as well with its new Brio.

Demand for cars in smaller cities has been driving auto sales in the country. Honda has expanded its dealership network to nearly 150 in 90 cities, from 120 last year. In recent months, it has set up a presence in cities such as Asansol, Gorakhpur, Mandi, Alware, Coonoor and Dibrugarh.

Honda will also start making critical components for its vehicles in India, besides increasing its supplier base. The 1200-cc Brio will fall under the 'small car' category, enjoying a concessional excise of 10 per cent, as against 22 per cent for larger vehicles.