“The all-new City, in particular, has received a great response from the market, both in terms of enquiries and contracts, and has been able to stimulate the mid-size sedan segment,” Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Senior Vice President and Director (Sales and Marketing) Rajesh Goel told PTI in an interview.
16:012020 Honda City Petrol MT road test review
The customers for City have always been very discerning and as per the initial response, the top end ZX variant, with numerous segment-first features, is getting the maximum demand of almost 60 per cent, he added.
In another trend, more than half of the first month bookings are for CVT (automatic) variants as compared to 40 per cent in the fourth generation City, Goel said.
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Besides City, the company recently introduced new WR-V and BS-VI compliant diesel trim of Civic sedan. It is now gearing up to drive in new version of Jazz.
Goel said HCIL was in the middle of BS6 transition when the national lockdown happened, leading to a sharp fall in monthly sales.
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“Ever since our production resumed in mid-June, our priority has been to quickly roll out the models,” Goel said.
He added that the company is now in the process of gradually ramping up its production to reduce waiting period for the City.
Honda expects sales to bounce back in India over the next few months, on the back of enhanced product portfolio and resumption of operations at dealerships across the country, Goel said.
The auto maker, which is present in the country through a wholly-owned subsidiary, also expects production across its two plants in India to touch pre-Covid levels by the end of next month, helping it reduce waiting time for its recently launched products, especially the fifth generation City.
“Both our plants in Greater Noida and Tapukara are operational since mid-June. Our production is currently at about 60 per cent of pre-Covid level.
“When we resumed operations in mid-June, we had started at 25 per cent level. This is being further ramped up and we hope to reach 100 per cent of pre-Covid production level by end of September,” Goel said.
The approach has been to target and achieve safe, stable and efficient operations, he added.
The plants started with limited capacity and lesser manpower to ensure strict adherence to the safety and distancing norms, which are a must in the current prevailing scenario, Goel said.
The auto maker is also monitoring its dealers’ operational status on a daily basis as they continue to get impacted due to intermittent local lockdowns for Covid-19 prevention and day-wise restrictions, he noted.
(The story was orginally taken from new agency PTI feed and reworked)