Japanese carmaker Honda’s strategy of replicating the Amaze success story with the newly-launched fourth-generation City seems to be working well. The new Honda City currently has a three-month wait, thanks mainly to higher demand for the diesel variant. The company has already done over 30,000 bookings since the Honda City was launched in January this year with a diesel engine option.
“We started the third shift at our Greater Noida facility in November 2013, which helped reduce the waiting period for Amaze from three months to three weeks now,” said Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president, Honda Cars India. “The third shift helped reduce the waiting period for the Amaze but, with the City’s waiting period of three months, the plant is over-utilised,” said Sen.
Honda made its diesel debut with the Amaze in April 2013, delivering 153% y-o-y growth and selling 88,375 vehicles over April 2013-January 2014 even as the segment declined 1.7% to 711,282 vehicles. “Initially, of total sales, at least 84% were from the diesel variant for the Amaze, which has eventually averaged out to 60% now,” said Sen.
Honda delivered a volume growth of 82% y-o-y to 114,973 vehicles over April 2013-January 2014. It has an installed capacity of 2.4 lakh vehicles per annum at its plants in Greater Noida and Tapukara, Rajasthan.
While the new facility is yet to begin full production, the company plans to enter two hot segments — MPV and premium hatch — with the Honda Mobilio and the new Honda Jazz later this year.