Honda Civic hybrid to cost Rs8 lakh less

New Delhi: Honda has cut the price of its Civic Hybrid car in India by Rs8 lakh, looking to drive sales.

Post the price cut, which is applicable with immediate effect, and is the sharpest thus far in the Indian history of the automobile in India, the hybrid Civic will cost Rs13.36 lakh, against its initial price of Rs21.5 lakh at launch in June 2008. The reduction in the price of the car is also a first for Honda in India, which is now resorting to a price cut to sell cars in India. 

Though the hybrid Civic was a huge interest-generator for Honda, sales were slow to come by on account of the unaffordable pricing, with the company selling around 60 cars till date. By contrast, the regular Honda Civic, which runs on a conventional gasoline engine and was launched in India in July 2006, sold 5,236 units in the first seven months of the fiscal.

Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) said its decision to cut prices was prompted by the need to make eco-friendly cars more affordable. The Honda Civic Hybrid is the first full hybrid vehicle in India, with a 1.3 litre petrol engine and an electric battery that gives it an average mileage of 20 kilometers per litre of petrol.

The Times of India quoted Honda Siel Cars India's vice president for marketing as saying that though the Civic Hybrid launched in June and also received overwhelming interest from customers and industry bodies, the high price on account of the prevailing duty structure ensured it was unaffordable for a lot of customers. He said the company had therefore decided to partly bear the cost on behalf of the customers for a limited period and volume, in order to make the car becomes more affordable and to allow more customers to experience and own the new technology.