On July 23, Honda is launching its mid-size MPV called the Mobilio. After Maruti Ertiga, the Mobilio is going to be the second major player in the segment. Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president, Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India, says that it is hard to beat a Honda vehicle on aspects such as durability, quality and reliability. In an interaction with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that the Mobilio is going to be a great value-for-money vehicle. Excerpts:
How is the Mobilio different from other Indian MPVs?
The Mobilio is based on Honda’s “lightning bolt” design language that gives it a unique identity. A pretty face, new grille, sharp design lines—all make it stand out. Once you enter the cabin, you will be surprised at the amount of space, made possible by Honda’s “man maximum, machine minimum” philosophy.
What was the thinking behind launching the high-end RS version of the Mobilio?
We are positioning the Mobilio as a mid-size stylish MPV, and the RS is an extension of that “style” quotient. Traditionally, MPVs have not been great lookers. But we wanted to change that. Right from the first day of the Mobilio’s development, looks were very important. The RS version, we believe, can attract customers from even a class above.
Will the RS trim be available in both petrol and diesel options?
We will announce at the time of Mobilio’s launch on July 23.
What percentage sales you expect for the diesel and the petrol variants, respectively?
We believe the Mobilio diesel should have a 65% market share and the petrol should garner 35% share. But the ratio depends from state to state. For example, in Goa, where petrol and diesel prices are similar, we expect the petrol variant to sell more.
In India most MPVs are used in the taxi market. Where will the Mobilio fit in?
We have been selling cars in India for over 16 years now, and you won’t find even a single Honda vehicle as a meter-taxi. The Mobilio is a mid-size, stylish, family MPV and it will remain the same.
Will it be priced aggressively?
Honda’s cars are known for their superior quality and excellent fit-and-finish. Our cars may not always be lowest priced, but they are value-for-money products. It is hard to beat a Honda car on durability, quality and reliability. As far as pricing the Mobilio is concerned, it will be competitively-priced and will be a great value-for-money car.
Why is there no CNG version of