Honda gearing up to launch all-new City amid coronavirus pandemic
Japanese auto major Honda is gearing up to roll out new generation City in the Indian market, even as coronavirus pandemic continue to impact the overall dynamics of the domestic auto industry, a senior company official has said.
The company plans to sell the fifth generation City alongside the fourth (current) version in order to give more buying options to the customers.
"The current Covid-19 crisis is an unprecedented situation and we have to overcome challenges on many fronts including supply chain, production, sales activity at dealerships and of course the market sentiment.
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"As a manufacturer, its our responsibility to launch our latest models which can help us create fresh excitement in the market," Honda Cars India Ltd Senior Vice President and Director Marketing and Sales Rajesh Goel told PTI.
Goel said that due to the lockdown situation, the company is still working on the launch timelines to align it with production resumption, re-opening of dealership facilities and also community normalcy.
Honda's plants at Tapukara (Rajasthan) and Greater Noida are yet to resume production.
When asked if it is the right time to launch a new model, Goel said: "Even though we do not know how much, but we do feel that personal mobility will gain even more significance in current times. We are committed and going ahead with our launch plans".
Elaborating on the strategy to sell both fifth and fourth generation versions of the sedan together, Goel said the move will give wider buying choice to its customers in terms of trims and price range.
"The launch of all new City will be our key priority area and we are confident that it will create new benchmark of supremacy in the mid-size sedan segment with its highly advanced product offering," he added.
Regarding the existing fourth generation City, it is a very successful model and continues to be extremely popular, Goel said.
"We recently introduced its BS 6 version, so technically we can produce and sell it in BS 6 regime as well. This will give wider buying choice to our customers in terms of product trims and price range," he noted.
Goel also ruled out bulk sales of current City to fleet operators, saying the sedan customers have predominantly been personal buyers and that the company will keep following the same strategy for the popular brand.
Honda had launched the BS 6 petrol powered version of the City in December last year priced between ₹9.91 lakh and ₹14.31 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).